German cross-country skiers celebrate historic success
A year ago they surprisingly won Olympic silver in the relay in Beijing. Now the German cross-country skiers follow suit and also fight for second place at the World Championships in Planica. The end of a long wait.
DVictoria Carl was able to enjoy the last few meters in the relay race of these world championships. At the finish, her three competitors got ready to welcome the German anchor – with skis in hand and tears in their eyes. In the relay race over 4×5 kilometers, the German cross-country skiing quartet secured second place behind Norway and ahead of the Swedes.
A year after the surprising silver medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing, they have done so in an impressive way. It is already the eleventh medal in Planica for the German team and the first for the cross-country skiing team.
Laura Gimmler as the starting runner, then Katharina Hennig, Pia Fink and Victoria Carl were at the front from the start of the race. Final runner Carl finally went into the final loop in second place with a slight gap to Norway – and didn’t let the competition get close from behind. “It really motivated me that the other three girls in front of me skied so well and that we had such good skis,” said Carl. Hennig added: “It will be duly celebrated!”
“Friday we let it rip”
After the Olympic Games in Beijing with relay silver and the gold coup in the team sprint by Hennig and Carl, the expectations at this World Championships were higher than usual – even if the Olympic precious metal was completely unexpected in both cases. Especially the win. The national coach was also reassured by the fact that the season was now upping the ante.
“I’m happy for the whole team,” said Peter Schlickenrieder. “Today we’re still celebrating in moderation because the men need our support tomorrow in the relay. But on Friday, when the award ceremony is, we’ll let it rip.”
It’s been a while since German cross-country skiers stood on the podium at a World Cup: it’s the first precious metal in twelve years. Jens Filbrich, Axel Teichmann, Franz Göring and Tobias Angerer won the last German medal for Germany in cross-country skiing in 2011 at the Holmenkollen in Oslo when they celebrated bronze with the relay.