Gold Medal Shower for Germany | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 19.02.2002
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Gold Medal Shower for Germany

The German olympic team goes for gold as the German woman biathlon team defend their 1998 relay title and ski jumper Martin Schmitt helps his team colleagues to gold.


A team worth their weight in gold -the German ski jumpers Schmitt, Hannewald, Hocke and Uhrmann

It was a moment of joy and relief for German ski jumper Sven Hannewald, who despite being one of the favourites, missed out on gold in the individual events: In Monday’s team competition, Hannewald finally struck gold, with the help of colleague ski jumpers Martin Schmitt, Stepahn Hocke and Michael Uhrmann.

The team took gold with 974 point 1 points – just one-tenth of a point ahead of Finnland, the narrowest margin of victory ever in Olympic history. Bronze went to Slovenia.

Schmitt, the second-to-last jumper in the field, went 123.5 metres on his second jump of the final round, but had to wait agonizing minutes before seeing just what he had achieved – namely 121.3 points – enough for gold.

Regaining the relay

Monday was a day of success for German sport, as the country’s women biathlon team retained their Olympic title in the 4x7.5 km relay.

Led on by anchor woman Kati Wilhelm, the team triumphed in the event they won in Nagano in 1998.

Katrin Apel, Uschi Disl, Andrea Henkel and Kati Wilhelm covered the distance in one hour, 27 minutes and 55 seconds, 30.6 seconds ahead of Norway. Russia was third.

The victory also marked Kati Wilhelm’s third gold medal, after triumphing in the women’s 7.5 km sprint and silver in the 10 km pursuit.

Top of the list

Monday's success mean Germany now tops the medals table with 8 Gold medals, 10 silver and 6 Bronze, followed by Norway and hosts USA.

However, no gold medals for Germany in the women's freestyle skiing aerial finals on Monday - one of the few events with no German competitors.

Australian Alisa Camplin took gold here, silver and bronze went to Canadian skiers Veronica Brenner and Deirdra Dionne.