German Julias on the rise

They were the high-flyers of the German team last season. Julia Tannheimer and Julia Kink. Both made their IBU Cup debut at the beginning of the season and won their first IBU Cup competition in the first four weeks. Julia Tannheimer won in the Mass Start 60 in Sjusjoen in December, and Julia Kink in the Short Individual in Martell-Val Martello in January. And that was just how the furious season began.

That was unexpected. Julia Tannheimer and Julia Kink wanted to start the 2023/24 season in the IBU Junior Cup. But their strong showing in the internal qualification of the German Ski Association catapulted them into the IBU Cup.

“It was surreal for me at the beginning, but I quickly got used to the new situation and then didn’t even think about it anymore,” says Kink. Her first race was somewhat modest. After finishing 67th in the first race in Kontiolahti, the direction was clear for her. She wanted to show that she can do better. She did this quickly. She came fifth in the second race.

Her teammate Julia Tannheimer had a solid start to the season. She managed to win the IBU Cup in the first trimester. In Sjusjoen, she came first in the Mass Start 60.

“I just wanted to show what I can do. I didn’t expect that I would be able to do it so well so quickly,” explains Tannheimer.

World Cup calling

The next step came in January. She was lying in bed when the call came from DSV sports director Felix Bitterling. “You get a starting place at the World Cup in Ruhpolding,” said Bitterling. At just 18 years old! And Julia Tannheimer delivered. She was flawless in her first BMW IBU World Cup race and finished 15th in the Sprint, making her a perfect debut despite the hustle and bustle, crowds, and television cameras in the highest biathlon league. And how did she compose her thoughts before the debut?

“On the day of my first race, I was very excited. I then watched a series about the Tour de France to distract myself.”

Julia Kink was more relaxed about her first World Cup start. “I'm actually not the excited type. Of course, the news that I could compete in the World Cup in Soldier Hollow and Canmore came as a surprise, but I was also well-received by my teammates in the World Cup. They supported me with all my questions,” says Kink. She even made it to the podium in the women's relay as she anchored Germany to second place.

Stellar Junior World Championships

The two young athletes from Germany won medals at the IBU Junior World Championships in Otepaa. Julia Tannheimer won in the Individual and Julia Kink in the Mass Start 60. Together they celebrated the gold medal in the relay. Both felt little pressure.

“I knew that other athletes in the field also had experience in the World Cup, and that’s why I didn’t feel like a favourite,” says Tannheimer.

“The competitions in Otepaa went well for the whole team. That pushed me,” adds Kink.

School work and getting ready for 2024/2025

After a breakthrough season, they took advantage of the April break to reflect on their experiences. Julia Tannheimer found solace in preparing for her high school exams. "The entire season felt like a dream. I still can't believe it. It's a good thing that I need to concentrate on my studies now." She will receive her Abitur results in July. For Julia Kink, this was just the beginning. "I learned how to handle situations when things don't go as planned. I was able to learn so much from the seasoned athletes in the World Cup. Now, I want to use that knowledge to prepare for the upcoming season," says the 20-year-old.

The two high-achievers are already gearing up for the World Cup qualification in Vuokatti this November.

Header iconBI41 - High-flying Julias

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