Erik Lesser is the ultimate big time performer. Don’t get me wrong he is successful on the Biathlon World Cup but he always seems to save his best performances for the big Championships. In Sochi at the Olympics he came home with 2 silver medals and in Kontiolahti he upgraded to 2 gold medals!
Erik was born on the 17th of May 1988 in Suhl. He made his World Cup debut in 2010 where he finished second in the Mixed Relay and he took 44th place in the Sprint in his first individual event. He came 91st that year in the Total Score. Over the last 5 years he has improved significantly and last season he came 10th in the Overall which is his best finish to date.
It is in the Championships where he excels however. He has taken part in 2 World Championships so far. In Nove Mesto in 2013 he won a bronze medal as part of the Relay Team. Then in Kontiolahti in 2015 he won the Pursuit race coming from fifth place in the Sprint. He also helped the German Men’s Relay Team to win gold. In between these Championships he went to the Olympic Games in Sochi and won silver in the 20km Individual and another silver in the Relay.
All this from a man who has never won a race on the World Cup! He has three podiums to his name, one second place and two thirds but has not managed a victory in normal World Cup racing. For your first ever win to be in the World Championships is quite special. I am not really sure what the reason for this is. Maybe he reacts well under pressure and the World Championships and Olympics are the toughest events around.
Talent is obviously in his genes as his grandfather was an Olympian. Axel Lesser competed in the 1976 Winter Olympics for East Germany. Erik was also well known for his facial hair. A few years ago he wore a quite excellent moustache but sadly he is now clean shaven but maybe that’s why he is skiing faster! He was certainly easier to identify on the tracks with his magnificent moustache!
Moustache or no Erik needs to transfer his Championship form across to the regular World Cup season. Now that he has won a race and knows he can beat the best he will take more confidence on to the World Cup. He is a great biathlete and he is capable of getting good results but he needs to do it on a more consistent basis. He just needs to look at his teammate Simon Schempp’s performances from last season to see it can be done.
It’s a big season for Erik. There is a lot of pressure on German biathletes and he has a World title to defend in Oslo. I wouldn’t bet against him winning more medals there! When it comes to the big events we know that Lesser is more!!