Austria’s Back-up Relay Team Putting Up A Good Show
In the final race of the Hochfilzen world cup, the Norwegian relay team of Johannes Dale, Erlend Bjoentegaard, Tarjei Bö and Johannes Thingnes Bö has taken the victory in the relay competition men. 10.900 enthusiastic spectators saw what looked like a German victory for a long time until Bö passed DSV final leg runner Benedikt Doll with a fantastic performance. Doll was not able to compete with the world cup total score leader in the final sprint. Germany (Philipp Horn, Johannes Kuehn, Arnd Peiffer and Doll) was followed by France (Antonin Guigonnat, Emilien Jacquelin, Fabien Claude and Quentin Fillon-Maillet) onto the podium.
With Simon Eder, Dominik Landertinger, Julian Eberhard and Harald Lemmerer being sick, the Austrian back-up team David Komatz, Felix Leitner, Patrick Jakob and Tobias Eberhard put up a remarkable performance. In the end, the ÖSV team took the twelfth place in a field of 27 starting teams. First leg runner David Komatz handed over after shooting clean and breaking a pole in twelfth position to Felix Leitner. The Tyrolean was able to gain four positions despite two reloads and then sent Patrick Jakob on his race in eighth position. The 23-year-old Tyrolean had to use four reloads but he showed a remarkable world cup debut performance. Final leg runner Tobias Eberhard was able to gain two position using just two reloads which got the Austrian team the twelfth place in the end. They were trailing Norway 3:35.8 minutes.
David Komatz: “My start was good and I was able to line up in the front. Unfortunately, I suffered a broken pole after the first downhill. Then I was in last position. However, I have stayed calm and worked diligently.”
Felix Leitner: “I am upset about the reloads as I have been quite sure that I would be shooting clean until then. Otherwise, my performance was okay. It was a bit difficult to find my skiing groove but the spectators have helped me getting back into the race.”
Patrick Jakob: “It has been quite difficult for me as I have just arrived from Ridnaun this morning. However, I have been very happy to race in front of my home crowd. There have been two or three reloads too many at range.”
Tobias Eberhard: “I believe that everyone has shown a good performance. Three reloads show that I still have room for improvement but biathlon is not always a bowl of cherries.”
Pictures: OK Hochfilzen/EXPA/Adelsberger