Tag Archives: Austrian biathlon

Felix Leitner: The Interview!

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Felix Leitner is an Austrian biathlete born in Hall in Tirol on the 31st of December 1996. He recently competed in the Youth/Junior World Championships in Cheile Gradistei where he won gold in the Individual and Sprint races and bronze in the Pursuit. These were his first races in the Junior category but he already has a gold and silver medal in the Youth category in the Pursuit and Sprint from Raubichi last season.

You won double gold in Cheile Gradistei in your first World Championships as a Junior. How did you feel? Did you expect to do well or was it a bit surprising?

I felt really great. I knew that I was in good shape in running and I also felt good at the shooting range so I expected one or maybe two medals. But, I did not expect that I would be so successful.

Can you describe the races? Did you have any plan before the start about how you wanted to race?

In the Individual I was really nervous because I did not know how I should pace my race, but I did it really well. Instead at the shooting range I had an awesome feeling, that I would shoot 0 mistakes. I was really safe.
In the Sprint competition (my favourite competition) I knew that I could also win with 1 mistake, so I was not insecure after my shooting mistake in the standing. The last loop was really hard but I gave everything I had.
The Pursuit was really hard for me. I am not used to having so many races in such a short time. But because of my shooting I could get a medal again.
In the relay I absolutely wanted to exchange as first. My running was great but I had some problems on the shooting range (+3 shots).

Did you set any goals before you went to Romania and did you achieve them?

My goals were 1-2 medals. I totally achieved it.. 🙂

You have raced on the IBU Cup this season and you were 10th in the Sprint in Nove Mesto. What was that race like? Did it help you to prepare for the Junior World Championships?

The first day in Nove Mesto was super. I like that course.
I needed some races for the YJWCH, but it also was really important for my self-confidence.

What are your plans for the rest of the season? What are your goals for next year?

Just now I don’t know what my next races are, but my next big goal for this season is the Junior European Championships in Pokljuka. I want to fight for medals again.
My goal for next season is to get better and better, and then we will see.

Why did you become a biathlete and why do you like the sport?

My brother is a ski jumper and in the same club they also had biathletes so I tried it and I still love it. I enjoy it probably because of the mix of running and shooting.

Do you combine sport with your education or are you concentrating only on biathlon at the present?

At the moment I go to school at Schigymnasium in Stams. But I am in the last class and I will be happy when I can only focus on sport.

Does your rifle have a name?

No name for my rifle no.

Describe yourself in three words.

Love my friends!

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon track: HOCHFILZEN
Favourite biathlete (past or present): LANDERTINGER, BJOERNDALEN, FOURCADE
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): SPRINT
Favourite/best race of your career so far? INDIVIDUAL YJWCH 2016
Favourite food: PASTA (RECHEIS)
Favourite sports team: TG FLOX
Favourite TV show: CIRCUS HALLI GALLI

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Lisa Theresa: A HAUS-hold name!

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What a season Lisa Teresa Hauser had in 2014/15! The 21-year-old came 26th in the Total Score and had 10 Top 25 finishes including three at the World Championships in Kontiolahti. All that in only her second season on the World Cup!

Lisa was born in KitzbĂĽhel, Austria on the 16th of December 1993. She initially began cross country skiing when she started school and only started biathlon in 2011. By the 2012 season she was already in the Austrian Youth Team who went to the Youth/Junior World Championships in Kontiolahti. In the Youth Category she managed to come 11th in the Individual and then was selected as the anchor leg in the Relay. The team came third and then Lisa took third place in the Sprint race too.

Obviously her background in cross country gave her a solid start as a biathlete but to learn to shoot well and start winning medals one year after you begin is an amazing achievement. Those results earned Lisa the chance to go to the final IBU Cup that season where she got a 23rd place. From there she started the next season 2012/13 on the IBU Cup and has never looked back.

She went to Sochi as part of the Austrian Olympic squad and performed admirably taking 3 TOP 40 finishes, her best a 27th place finish in the Sprint race. Last season however was her really good as she improved her personal best from 24th to 13th which came in the Oestersund Sprint. She added another 6 TOP 25 finishes throughout the World Cup season and then got three in a row at the World Championships.

Lisa finished a fantastic 14th in the Mass Start after coming 24th in the Sprint, 22nd in the Pursuit and 26th in the Individual. Not bad for someone who only picked up a rifle 4 years before. She was also part of the Austrian Mixed Relay team who were 5th and the Women’s Team who were 9th.

She is not just a talented biathlete however. Her hobbies include playing the flute and the guitar, which could possibly earn her a place in the biathlon band, as well as cycling, slacklining and reading.

Next season could be a very good one for Lisa if she stays fit and healthy so what can we expect from her? Well if her progress so far is anything to go by we can expect a lot! She will definitely be aiming to break into the Top 10 but I think she has the ability to get on to the podium this season. She is a strong skier and her shooting is improving all the time. At 21 she has plenty of time to get better at both disciplines. She also has a chance of making it into the Top 10 of the Total Score if she can improve and become more consistent.

In Oslo at the World Championships she has an outside chance of an Individual medal but the Mixed Relay could be the event where she has a serious chance of winning. With Landertinger, Eder and Innerhofer, Austria has a really good team capable of getting a medal. So look out for Lisa’s results this season because she will soon be a HAUS-hold name!

You can like Lisa’s Facebook page: Lisa Hauser

She has her own own website too: http://www.lisahauser.at/

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A’Eder the pack!

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So if your name was Simon what would your potential nicknames be? How about Si, or Simo or maybe just plain Simple! For some reason Austria’s Simon Eder’s nickname is Sam!! It has obviously stuck as he uses it as the name of his website too: http://www.edersam.com.

Sam or as I like to call him Simon (mainly because it’s his name!) was born in Zell am See on the 23rd of February 1983. His father Alfred Eder was also a biathlete and took part in 6 Winter Olympic Games. Simon has only been to 2 so far so if my Maths is correct that makes his Dad 3 times better than him!!:-) Luckily for Simon his Dad is now also his coach.

Last season was probably his best ever. He won a race on the World Cup for the first time since he claimed his first ever victory in 2008/09. A brilliant end to the season saw him win the Oslo Pursuit to add to his win in the Mass Start in Khanty-Mansiysk from 5 years ago. He also began the season well finishing 2nd in the Oestersund Individual and he just missed out on another podium finishing 4th in the Ruhpolding Pursuit.

He ended the season in fifth place in the Total Score which is his highest finish to date mainly thanks to him coming second in both the Pursuit and Individual standings. The best result of the year obviously has to be his bronze medal from the Sochi Olympics Men’s Relay which he won with Daniel Mesotitsch, Dominik Landertinger and Christoph Sumann. The same team in fact who won silver in Vancouver in 2010 in the same event. He has also finished 4th twice at the Olympics which is the worst position to finish in. He was 4th in the Vancouver Pursuit and 4th in the Individual in Sochi.

He has had quite a successful Olympic career so far but has done less well when it comes to the World Championships. He has competed in 6 but his only medal came again in the relay in Pyeongchang 2009 where Austria finished second. At the age of 31 Simon must be looking to set this right in the coming season in Kontiolahti. He has plenty of experience now and if he can carry his form over from last year he will definitely be in contention to finally grab that individual medal and another relay one too.

Excitingly for us fans Simon has one of the best websites of all the biathletes. It is in German and English and best of all he has his own shop! Yes you can buy Simon Eder goodies straight from his website! He has his own range of T-shirts for men, women and children and my favourite part – he also sells accessories! You can get a mug, a backpack, a lap top case and who in the world wouldn’t want a Simon Eder pencil case! Actually if you have a biathlon fan in the family they would make great Christmas presents. It’s also nice to see biathletes be proactive in the raising of funds and giving the fans a chance to support them and buy a pencil case! (I am obsessed with the pencil case!).

The upcoming year will be an interesting one for Simon and not just in terms of T-shirt sales! He has a real chance to challenge at the very top and to claim a few more wins on the World Cup. The World Championships have to be one of his main goals and he has the ability and the experience to take medals. Let’s hope he has a great year and can finish A’Eder the pack!

 

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The Swede Smell of Success!

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Well that’s Oestersund over for another year. A disrupted calendar due to high winds but pretty interesting all the same. It began what feels like about 10 years ago with the mixed relay. The Czech Republic won with a very solid performance from all 4 athletes and with a little help from Martin Fourcade who proved he is in fact human and not just a lean, mean, biathlon machine.

He soon put all that behind him though by winning the Individual by over 2 minutes with an “in your face doubters” kind of display. What’s most remarkable about this guy is that after a disaster in the relay and 4 days to sit and dwell on it he comes out and shoots clear. His mental strength is unbelievable and you can’t help but be impressed by the way he handled the situation. We know his physical ability but to have that mental toughness is why he will be so hard to beat this season. Many people would have crumbled after the relay but he comes out even stronger and wins the Sprint too just for good measure. Four-midable!

On the women’s side Tora Berger didn’t get off to a great start either. She also had a bit of a shocker in the relay. Like Fourcade she worked her way back on to the podium finishing 3rd in the Sprint.Elsewhere Gabriela Soukalova started where she finished last season with an impressive performance in the Individual and Ann Kristin Flatland had a great race to win the Sprint. It was great to see Marie-Laure Brunet get the podium that her amazing shooting deserves and Olga Zaitseva making it in there too after a rocky start for Team Russia. Slovakia also earned a podium through Kuzmina.

Special mentions have to go to the French men’s team especially Jean-Guillame Beatrix for his 4th place in the Sprint and Baptiste Jouty for an amazing 13th place in the same race.In fact the French men had 5 finishers in the TOP 40. Also to Fredrik Lindstrom for restoring some home pride in a tough meet for the Swedes. What might have been if he hadn’t fallen we will never know but I like to think he would have won. Tim Burke also hit some early season form in the Sprint and his fellow North American JP Le Guellec proved that he must really like Oestersund by getting a 4th place in the Individual to follow his Sprint win last year. The Austrian men also performed very well in the Individual with Eder in second, and Mesotitsch in third after competing in Idre in the IBU Cup.

The Italians also had some great results from both the men and women. Oberhofer and Weirer both finished in the TOP 10 -a first for Italy and Hofer and De Lorenzi repeated the feat for the men. Kadri Lehtla was the only woman to shoot clear in the Individual and earned her a career best 15th place. Andorra’s Laurie Soulie was also having the race of her life in that event right up until the final shoot.If she hadn’t missed 3 targets she could have made the TOP 5.

On the other hand it was a bit of a disappointing weekend for the big guns from Norway and Russia especially on the men’s side with no podiums for either team.If you are a fan of theirs though you shouldn’t worry too much. I think they both have a master plan that involves peaking in time for the Olympics and if last season’s World Championships are anything to go by the Norwegians at least will be bang on form for Sochi.

It was unfortunate that both the Pursuits were cancelled. It seems my powers of weather forecasting are brilliant as I did predict a hurricane in my last post! Not to worry though the fun starts again in Hochfilzen on Friday. Fourcade, Soukalova, Flatland and the Czech relay team leave Oestersund with the Swede smell of success but can they repeat it in Austria? You’ll have to wait and see!

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Lander-trigger!

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Dominik Landertinger is an Austrian biathlete, born in Braunau am Inn on the 13th of March 1988. A member of the Austrian military, he currently lives in Hochfilzen.

It can’t be an easy thing competing in a winter sport for a country like Austria. Steeped in a tradition of producing some of the best skiers ever and treating winter sports like most countries treat football there is a lot of pressure on the athletes. On the other hand they have some of the best facilities and coaches in the world. So far it doesn’t seem too much of a burden to Dominik.

At 25 he has already won a silver medal in the Olympics in the relay, 1 world championship gold in the mass start and silver again in the world championship relay. Last season (2012/13) he started the season with a 2nd place in Oestersund and finished with a 2nd in Khanty-Mansiysk. During the season he had 2 fourth placed finishes in Oslo and Sochi in the sprint. Maybe not quite what he was hoping for but not bad in a season dominated by a few biathletes.

Obviously he must be a little disappointed with how the World Championships went in Nove Mesto even though he finished in the top 10 in 3 events. However biathlon is a hard game especially when a couple of missed shots can cost you dear. Decidedly stronger in the prone position, he made need to improve his shooting in the stand if he wants to be in with a chance of medalling in Sochi next year.

It seems as though Dominik is a good starter and finisher of a season so maybe if he can peak at the right time for Sochi he may have a better chance than many people think of winning something. Russia looks like a good hunting ground for Landi as he does well in Khanty and a 4th in Sochi this year is a good sign for the Olympics. In fact if they were being held in Khanty I’m sure he would be very happy!

Fingers crossed Landi can produce something great next season for Austrian biathlon. His teammates are very experienced and he can learn a lot from them but with the advantage of youth I think he is their best hope for the coming season.

So if you are a fan of Dominik you can find his page on Facebook and check out his website (if you speak German!) http://www.dominik-landertinger.com

Hopefully there will be a lot of good news to follow next season!

Selected results:
2nd Mass Start 2012/13 Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS)
2nd Individual 2012/13 Oestersund (SWE)
3rd Individual 2010/11 Ruhpolding (GER)
1st Mass Start 2009/10 Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS)
2nd Sprint 2009/10 Antholz-Anterselva (ITA)
3rd Pursuit 2009/10 Antholz-Anterselva (ITA)
3rd Pursuit 2008/09 Ruhpolding (GER)
1st Mass Start 2008/09 Pyeong Chang (KOR) World Cup.