For Arnd Peiffer ended his season debut with painful bruises and a bleeding laceration. Away from the television cameras, the world champion in the biathlon singles from Östersund crashed in a downhill.
Nine months after his gold run, he overturned several times on the track of his World Cup triumph, while his rifle stock hit him on the back of his head and broke. “I saw him climb out of the ditch,” said Benedikt Doll, as the 16th best in a disappointing overall German team.
“Arnd was fortunately not unconscious, from a medical point of view, so far everything is in the green,” said the German team physician Katharina Blume ZDF and gave the all clear. It could have been worse. Because in February 2016, Peiffer had provided a great moment of shock when he came off the track in the pursuit in Presque Isle / USA and banged his head against a tree. At that time, the Harzer suffered a severe concussion, bruises on the chest and abrasions on his face. This time it was lenient, although his weapon suffered a total loss.
“I was three or four times close to lying down in the same place,” team-mate Erik Lesser said. “It was pretty tough on the track today. The curves were pretty stupid. “
Thus, the misery continued Peiffers at the season finale. For the sprint Olympic champion had missed the first World Cup weekend with mixed relay and sprint because of a gastrointestinal infection. Nevertheless, he was highly motivated in the heaviest of all biathlon races and was now in fifth place after the first two clean shootings. But then the mishap. So the 32-year-old could not prevent the disappointing team result.
After the protégés of national coach Mark Kirchner had shot in the sprint with a total of 16 errors from the race, it was not much better over the 20 kilometers with a total of 21 errors. “I underestimated that a bit, that was an incredibly tough race in these low conditions,” said the totally exhausted Doll (4 mistakes). Due to the rain, the already difficult track from Östersund was even harder to walk. Philip Horn (3) was 27th, Johannes Kühn (5) 41st, Simon Schempp (5) 53rd and Lesser (4) 72nd – that is not the claim of the Germans.
“I was awful,” Lesser said. “My pulse exploded, though I did not run fast. That was a brutal cramp. Schempp added: “Stamina is not there for me at all, and there is not much going on here at the shooting range. That's what makes it very, very difficult. »
Meanwhile, France's star Martin Fourcade announced his first success in a year. After the seven-time overall World Cup winner last winter not only had no chance against the 16-time winner Johannes Thingnes Bö, the 31-year-old opened again the duel of biathlon giants. “It's very emotional to me and I'm very happy to be back,” Fourcade said. His big adversary Bö had to settle for rank ten this time.