TOWhen Sturla Holm Laegreid crossed the finish line and realized he had beaten the great Johannes Thingnes Bö by 3.5 seconds, he probably screamed as loud as he could. Only: I couldn't hear it. 20,000 people at the Vysocina Arena in Nove Mesto made such a noise that the Norwegian's cheers were drowned out. The joy of his victory in the sprint race Biathlon world championship but everyone accepted it even without making a noise.

It was the first victory of the season for the 26-year-old, who had already been proclaimed individual world champion in 2021. On the podium in Nove Mesto, the bastion of biathlon in the Czech Republic, he led the sprint ten kilometers ahead of the Olympic champion and current world champion Johannes Thingnes Bö and the third Norwegian Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen.

Laegreid said after the race that becoming world champion would be a dream come true for him. He was the only one in the top five who shot clean. “So far I have had a season with ups and downs, a difficult start. But during the race I realized that if there was a chance to become world sprint champion, it would be now.”

Best German in 13th place

From the start of the race, the German biathletes had nothing to do with the awarding of medals. Already in the first section of the route it was clear that the Norwegians, French and Swedes, as well as the American Campbell Wright and the Latvian Andrejs Rastorgujevs, had better legs and skis that night.

“The race was a school grade of B, for the medal I need an A, that means I have to shoot without errors,” he said Benedictine dollwho finished in 13th place as the best German with two shooting errors and 1:41 minutes.

The 2017 world champion, who has already won two sprints in the World Cup this season, highlighted: “I don't just want to say that the skis were not optimal. I could have been faster myself. It was good, but not enough.” Looking at the pursuit race on Sunday afternoon (17:05 on ARD and Eurosport), he said: “By tomorrow I see that I can keep going, but the medals are gone. the same at hand.”

His teammates will probably not have access to the podium either: Johannes Kühn was 14th, Philipp Nawrath 16th and Philipp Horn finished 25th. Germany's medal hopes now rest on Franziska Preuß, who starts in the women's pursuit (2:30 p.m. on ARD and Eurosport) 1:05 minutes behind world champion Julia Simon (France).