Women’s relay disqualified due to coach’s mistake

Dhe German women’s relay has been disqualified after its strong second place at the cross-country skiing world cup in Dobbiaco. The reason was an error in the line-up: Coletta Rydzek, who was ill, was still on the start list as the last runner, but Sofie Krehl, who was not registered, started. Shortly after crossing the finish line, the DSV quartet was therefore taken out of the ranking.

“I reported Coletta Rydzek’s replacement due to illness too late. My mistake,” said national coach Peter Schlickenrieder of ARD. Previously, Olympic champion Katharina Hennig, Laura Gimmler, Pia Fink and Krehl had celebrated the first relay podium in six years. Even though second place was eventually dropped from the list of results, the performance still encouraged us for the upcoming World Championships in Planica.

Hennig pulls away

After 4×7.5 kilometers, the DSV team was 13.9 seconds behind Olympic champion Norway. Second place went to Sweden (+26.7 seconds) ahead of the USA (+26.9). However, the appearance on the cross-country ski run made us confident.

At the altitude of South Tyrol, starting runner Gimmler (Oberstdorf) shone and handed over as the leader to Hennig (Oberwiesenthal), who, together with Sweden, distanced the rest of the field. Fink (Bremelau) handed over to Krehl on the same level as Norway’s Olympic champion Ingvild Flugstad Östberg, who had to let Silje Theodorsen go.

Hennig and Krehl were the only runners in love in the Beijing 2022 Olympic relay, which surprisingly won silver. At the World Championships in Planica (February 21 to March 5), the women’s quartet is considered Germany’s greatest hope for winning a medal for German cross-country skiing again after five disappointing world championships.

On Saturday, Hennig had clearly missed out on a top placing over ten kilometers; more than 25th place was not possible. Team boss Peter Schlickenrieder spoke of “re-entry difficulties” that were “absolutely acceptable” after two illnesses. With a view to the World Cup, Hennig is “on schedule”.

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