Martin Otčenáš has gone under the radar a bit in biathlon outside of Slovakia. He has always been a solid competitor finishing around 40th to 50th in most races. That is all about to change however. With 2 points scoring positions behind him from last season and an excellent summer Martin is ready to move up in the biathlon world.
He was born in Poprad, Slovakia on the 25th of August 1987. He made his debut on the World Cup in Antholz in Season 2008/09 after spending a year on the IBU Cup. Last season he finally scored some points by finishing in the TOP 40 in 2 races.
He achieved his personal best result in Pokljuka in the Sprint race coming in 21st place and improving from his previous best finish of 45th. In the Pursuit race he managed to hold on for 40th place ensuring another points scoring finish. This is a really noteworthy improvement. It’s quite normal for the top athletes to get points in nearly every round but for others making it into the TOP 40 is a really important step.
Over the summer Martin also attended the Summer World Championships which were held in Cheile Gradistei in Romania. In the Men’s Sprint race he came third and won the bronze medal. In the Pursuit race he did even better and won the race to take home the gold medal.
Some might argue that it doesn’t mean much to win at the Summer World Championships as most of the big names do not attend and that it is raced on roller skis and not on snow. I do not agree. To win any form of race in biathlon is extremely difficult and the confidence of winning medals is a massive boost to any biathlete. For example the Bulgarian duo Anev and Iliev did well in summer 2014 and went on to have fantastic seasons on snow.
I am not getting carried away and saying that he will challenge at the top next season but I am expecting a big improvement for him personally. I think he will be able to get more points scoring positions and I expect him to break into the Top 20.
It will be an important year for Martin. At 28 he is probably in his prime as a biathlete in terms of fitness and experience. He needs to continue to improve and he must try and make himself a regular in the TOP 40. It won’t be easy for him but he will do his best both individually and for the Slovakian Relay teams. Look forward next season to a Slovak Attack!
You can like Martin’s Facebook Page: Martin Otcenas (Sportsperson)
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