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Biathlon World Cup: Janina Hettich-Walz wins silver in the World Cup individual

Janina Hettich-Walz won the first medal for the German team on the fifth day of competition at the Biathlon World Championships. She secured silver in the individual at Nové Město na Moravě in the Czech Republic. In the best race of her career to date, the biathlete won her first ever individual World Championships medal.

Hettich-Walz hit all 20 targets. After 15 kilometers, she was only 20.5 seconds behind the Italian Lisa Vittozzi, who also made no mistakes and took gold. Bronze went to France’s Julia Simon, who received a penalty minute.

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For a short time, the title even seemed within reach for Hettich-Walz. Although she shot cleanly, she ran out of strength on the final lap. But she is still happy about silver. “I still can’t really believe it. I have no idea how I managed to flip the switch,” said Hettich-Walz.

“This medal is for the whole team”

World Cup debutant Selina Grotian and Olympic fourth-place finisher Vanessa Voigt, both of whom also made no shooting errors, narrowly missed the podium. They came in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Medal candidate Franziska Preuß received two penalty minutes and, as the weakest of the German quartet, surprisingly missed out on the top ten.

Germany’s biathletes had not won a medal in the five previous competitions. Among other things, they struggled with bad skis. Things were different now: “I felt really good and powerful. The material was so much better,” said Hettich-Walz.

The last German world champion in individual biathlon was Laura Dahlmeier in 2017. Two years ago, Denise Herrmann-Wick won Olympic gold in individual biathlon in Beijing.

Janina Hettich-Walz won the first medal for the German team on the fifth day of competition at the Biathlon World Championships. She secured silver in the individual at Nové Město na Moravě in the Czech Republic. In the best race of her career to date, the biathlete won her first ever individual World Championships medal.

Hettich-Walz hit all 20 targets. After 15 kilometers, she was only 20.5 seconds behind the Italian Lisa Vittozzi, who also made no mistakes and took gold. Bronze went to France’s Julia Simon, who received a penalty minute.

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