Hat Tricks for Preuss, Hornig in German and Czech Championships

It was a hot weekend, but appropriate as Germany and Czech Republic both conducted their Summer Championships in Ruhpolding and Letohrad, respectively. When the dust settled, Franziska Preuss won the German individual sprint and pursuit titles, while Vitezslav Hornig won the Czech Republic sprint, super sprint and pursuit titles.

The German Summer Champs opened Friday with short individual competitions on a beautiful, sunny 25C day. First up were the men where Philipp Nawrath claimed the first title with two 45-second penalties. Matthias Dorfer finished second, 7.3 seconds ahead of third place Benedikt Doll, who had the fastest track time but five penalties. Franziska Preuss after ending last season prematurely returned to her winning ways, taking the women’s title, ahead of four-time IBU Youth World Championships medalist Julia Kink in second place and Julia Vogler in third.

Sprint Saturday

Sprint Saturday was another hot day in Ruhpolding. The ladies were up first with Preuss taking her second consecutive Gold medal while Sophia Schneider took second place, edging Stefanie Scherer by a mere second. In the hottest part of the day, IBU Sprint World Champion Benedikt Doll take first place despite two penalties. Second place went to Friday’s Short Individual Champion Philipp Nawrath. Third place found new face on the podium, with 29-year-old Johannes Donhauser just behind the World Cup veterans.

Equally hot conditions prevailed in Letohrad for the Czech Championships where Lucie Charvátová admitted, “I wish it would start snowing; it was too hot to race comfortably. Despite the heat, Charvátová won her sixth title take the women’s sprint with three penalties, 43 seconds ahead of Jessic Jislova, while Terza Vobornikova finished third, both with one penalty. In the men’s sprint, Vitezslav Hornig with two penalties finished first after a battle with Adam Vaclavik, with two penalties, coming back after wrist surgery. Third went to 2022 IBU Junior Individual World Champion Jonas Marecek, with four penalties.

Just a few hours later on Saturday evening, the Czech athletes lined up again for super sprints under the lights. Hornig went 17-for-20 to claim his second title. Charvátová, after one penalty more than Vobornikova almost took her second title, but missed the win by .5 seconds, ceding the win to her younger teammate.

Pursuit Sunday: Preuss and Hornig Seal Hat Tricks

Sunday was pursuit day at both the Chiemgau Arena and Letohrad. Preuss had to sprint down the last meters like her Czech counterparts the evening before to claim her third Gold medal and the Hat trick, just ahead of Schneider. Janina Hettich finished third, with her first podium of the weekend.

After finishing third in the opening short individual, Doll took the sprint and again prevailed in the men’s pursuit, with Nawrath taking second for the second consecutive day and Dorfer grabbing third place for his second podium of the week.

Like in Ruhpolding, it was another hot day in the Czech Republic. Marketa Davidova finished fourth in the sprint, but roared back in the women’s pursuit, going 20-for-20 to take the Gold medal. Davidova buried Vobornikova by 1:44, with Charvátová taking third. Unlike Preuss who had to sprint for her third Gold medal, Hornig took control after the second prone stage, going unchallenged to secure his hat trick. Jakub Štvrtecký finished second, while Marecek won his second Bronze medal.

Next weekend, France and Norway will hold their Summer Championships.

Photos: IBU/Nordic Focus/Bjorn Reichert, Czech Biathlon/Tomas Herrman

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