We are going Dutch this week for the young biathlete interview. Jarl Hengstmengel talks about how he got into biathlon and why he can’t go to Raubichi! He was born on the 7th of May 1996 and has already taken part in 2 Youth/Junior World Championships in Obertilliach and Presque Isle where his best result was a 42nd place in the Sprint race. Hopefully he will be back next year to improve on that.
You can follow Jarl on Twitter: @JGHengstmengel
Like his page on Facebook : ‘Jarl Hengstmengel’ (Sportsperson)
In the Netherlands the Winter Sportspeople are speed skaters, speed skaters and more speed skaters! How did you escape the ice and become a biathlete?
When I was 5 years old, my family decided to go to Germany. There we had the first touch with biathlon on TV and we found it much more exiting than speed skating. So we started first with cross country skiing and later on my brothers tried biathlon. And from then there was no escape anymore and I started biathlon when I was 11. First I trained in a beginner group in the south of Bavaria, close to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Then I trained in a scholar group and then I became an youth athlete. I always trained with Germans and competed in German competitions. So my way to escape the typical Dutch sport was to go to Germany. In Germany I had no choice then.
How do you balance training and competing with your education and social life? Are there things you would like to do but can’t because of training?
It’s very complicated to combine school with sports. I’m often at competitions and when I’m at home I have to study what I missed when I was away. I’m at a school which has a special concept for athletes to combine sports and school. That helps a lot.
I often miss things like parties or have to leave earlier because of training, but I have a lot of fun during training and competitions and I know a lot of people in biathlon, that is also a big part of my social life. But it is true I would like to have more time for a social life outside of sports.
Do you receive any funding? If not how do you pay for equipment, travel etc?
At the moment I get a lot of help from my ski club SC Mittenwald, who help to pay competition and training costs and some very friendly parents! But after graduating this year I need more financial help to keep me on a professional level of sports. The financial situation for junior winter athletes in the Netherlands is not the best, so I have to finance a lot by myself.
Will you be competing in Raubichi in the World Youth/Junior Championships? What is the selection criteria for your country?
I want to, but because it’s my final year at school I can’t be away at that time. To qualify I have to be under 10% behind the first 3 in the Alpencup two times.
What are your goals for this season and for the future?
This year I want to make a big step forward in running and to be under 8% behind the first 3 in running in the Alpencup. In the next years I want reach the World cup and to take part in the Olympics in 2022. That would be great.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a biathlete?
Too many good things to count, but one of the best things is travelling. I love travelling and to discover the world. And you meet a lot of people from different countries and learn a lot about the world.
Worst thing? Which worse things!?
If you could steal one characteristic from another biathlete, what would it be, who from and why?
The running technique of Martin Fourcade. He is a really good biathlete and really fast on the track. Every year again he is in good shape. I still remember that one moment during the World Championships in Ruhpolding 2012, when Bergman and Fourcade battled in the last lap and Fourcade jumped away on the last uphill. For me a legendary moment in biathlon.
Do you have any hobbies outside of sport?
I really like to work with computers. I want to study something in that direction. I love to be out there in nature, hiking and mountain biking without the meaning of training for biathlon. Only to enjoy.
Does your rifle have a name?
No, I tried once to find one but there is no name which is good enough for him. It’s my rifle, that is all there is to say.
Describe yourself in three words.
Calm, concentrated, motivated.
Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon track: Pokljuka
Favourite biathlete (past or present): Martin Fourcade
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): Individual
Favourite/best race of your career so far? Individual YJWCH 2013 in Obertilliach
Favourite food: Pancakes
Favourite singer/band: Armin van Buuren
Favourite film: The Italian Job
Favourite sports team: Team Out There
Favourite TV show: Game of Thrones, How I met your mother
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