In his dream, Benedikt Doll was doing well in the sprint race at the upcoming Biathlon World Championships. “I was very motivated and it was a good competition,” the 2017 world champion told the German Press Agency. His night's dream didn't make it to the awards ceremony, but at best, the 33-year-old veteran will fulfill his wish to claim his second individual medal at what will likely be his last World Championships, perhaps even from new gold.

Is there climate chaos?

The highlight of the season, which will last until February 18, will begin on Wednesday with the mixed relay (5:20 p.m./ARD and Eurosport). The weather and especially the wind could be problematic, but there is no threat of cancellation. “At the moment nothing is in danger. The snow tank is full,” Daniel Böhm, sports director of the IBU World Association, told dpa on Tuesday.

Christian Winkler, communications director, added: “It is certainly not easy. But the organizers are doing an excellent job. However, it is important that everyone involved is flexible in their processes, as is common practice in an outdoor sport.”

Doll, Voigt, Strelow: German medal chances

“I really want to live it again. Be at an awards ceremony again and maybe the German anthem will play. I really want to give everything in the races to fight for that,” Doll said. If he overcomes his shooting woes from previous races, the two-time season winner could get something out of it, even if he went a little cold in preparation.

As the season has progressed, the Germans are among the medal candidates. A total of four victories and nine additional podiums in individual races, plus six podiums in the relays and the first success at the World Cup in Germany in mixed singles by Vanessa Voigt and Justus Strelow give justified hopes.

High expectations, but no medal goal at DSV

According to sports director Felix Bitterling, there is no specific medal goal, but there should be one or two. “We want to win medals there. “I am convinced that we have the capacity to have one or two world champions,” he told BR. Men's coach Uros Velepec said: “Knock on wood: at the moment we have a good health situation in the team. “The athletes are very motivated for the World Cup races.”

Experts believe that the DSV team has a good chance

“It is possible that the German team will win a medal in every race,” two-time Olympic champion Laura Dahlmeier (30) told dpa. Although everything has to be right at the crucial moment, one advantage is that the Germans do not have to depend on the weaknesses of others, as they used to do in the past. “They've proven they can do it on their own.”

Franziska Preuß is undoubtedly one of the contenders for the medal. “Getting an individual medal is my motivation,” said the 29-year-old, who came close to a win on all three of her podium finishes this winter. Vanessa Voigt also has a chance to win an individual medal.

And ideally, Philipp Nawrath, who already wore the yellow jersey of the World Cup leader at the beginning, and Johannes Kühn would get involved. “I feel like I'm in pretty good shape,” Nawrath said. In the relay, the men reached the podium in all the World Cup races, a medal is just as possible as for the women. You have already been on the relay podium in third position twice this season. However, so far things have not gone well in the mixed relay this season.

A Norwegian festival in the Czech Republic again?

Men have to defeat them. Norwegian. The team of five-time world champion from Oberhof, Johannes Thingnes Bö, has achieved six triple successes and many more podiums so far this winter. “But it's not like the last few years, where they could have made one or two more mistakes. “You have to shoot just as well to stay ahead,” Doll said.

In the women's category, the absolute leader of the World Cup, Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold from Norway, the Italian Lisa Vittozzi and the two French women Justine Braisaz-Bouchet and Julia Simon are the main favorites.

Nové Mesto is still not a happy place for Germans

DSV ski chasers don't have the best memories of the World Cup venue in Nove Mesto. At the 2013 World Cup there was no gold medal for the first time since 1986. Only Andrea Henkel, then 35 years old, won silver in the individual category, while the men's relay team won bronze.

However, in March 2021 the men celebrated their last World Cup relay victory to date there. “It was a sensational success and a brilliant experience,” said Nawrath, who would love to experience this feeling again with his teammates.