Tag Archives: Biathlete

How SUPER is SVENDSEN?

svendsen

When he is not at the forefront of dandruff prevention in Norway, exposing himself to Tora Berger in the freezing cold of Khanty or messing about with Tarjei Bø , Emil Hegle Svendsen sometimes does a bit of biathlon.

Born on the 12th of July 1985 in Trondheim, Norway Emil has been competing in biathlon since 1997.

He has his own website http://www.supersvendsen.com , but what I want to know is can he justify calling himself “super”? Other biathletes haven’t got similar monikers like” Brilliant” Bjorndalen ,”Fantastic Fourcade”, or “Terrific Tora”!

The Collins English Dictionary defines super as:

Adjective:
(informal) outstanding; exceptionally fine

And its synonyms include:
= excellent, wonderful, marvellous, outstanding, smashing, superb, magnificent, glorious, terrific, sensational, awesome, incomparable, out of this world, peerless, matchless.

When I hear the word “super” I immediately think about Superman, a normal guy who puts on a red and blue suit and does extraordinary things. The same could be said about Svendsen. He seems like a pretty normal 27 year old but when he puts on that red ski suit he is capable of producing some phenomenal performances.

For example last season 2012/13, he won 5 medals at the World Championships in Nove Mesto. They included 4 gold in the Sprint, Pursuit and both relays and a bronze in the Mass Start. He was the only athlete to really challenge Fourcade’s dominance over the World Cup season. In a season shortened by illness, Svendsen was second in the Total Score, sprint, pursuit and mass start standings behind Fourcade.In the Vancouver Olympics he won 2 gold and 1 silver medal and in total he has 11 World Championship gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals. He has 31 wins and 65 podiums to his name and one overall World Cup title which he won in 2009/10.

Quite a compelling case then to be able to use the word “super”. However he is not the most successful biathlete ever. That title goes to Ole Einar Bjorndalen. Nor has he won successive World Cups like Bjorndalen, Poiree, Ullrich, Roetsch or Fourcade. He currently appears 9th on the Olympic biathlon medal table.Saying that he is competing at time when there are a lot of outstanding biathletes and it is never easy to win a race never mind a Chrystal Globe. Plus he is still competing so his titles and medal count has not finished yet.

So maybe he isn’t the best biathlete of all time or even of the present but he is an amazing biathlete. His performances and achievements in the sport can more than adequately be described using adjectives like excellent, wonderful, superb and magnificent. What I don’t think we could use is peerless, matchless or incomparable which I am sure he wouldn’t either.

So how super is Svendsen? Well considering all the things he has achieved already and the huge potential he has for more success I would say he is very super. He can deservedly call himself SUPERSVENDEN and I am not going to tell him otherwise – he is also a supershot afterall!

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Magic Miri!

gossner

 

Not only is she a biathlete but 22 year old Miriam Gössner is also a cross-country skier. One of few people who choose to compete in both events she has won an Olympic silver medal in cross-country skiing and two biathlon world championship titles all in relay events.

Miriam was born in the German alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria. Her father is German and her mother Norwegian. Could there be a better combination for producing a top biathlete! However this wasn’t her original choice of winter sport. She aimed for a career in alpine skiing, but following an accident during slalom training she changed disciplines to biathlon at the age of 14. Let’s just say alpine’s loss is biathlon’s gain.

Being German, a very fast skier and blonde, she is inevitably compared to Magdalena Neuner. This is a lot of pressure to heap on a young athlete. They are quite similar in that they are both better at skiing than shooting but Miri has plenty of time to improve. And she will have to improve because no matter how fast you ski you can’t make up for missing too many targets. However she is her own person and although comparisons to Neuner may be flattering they may not be helpful. She should be judged on her own performances and against her own expectations rather than other peoples. Too much pressure on young shoulders can sometimes have a negative effect, but Miri seems to be the kind of athlete who can handle it and use it to her advantage.

Next season could be a huge one for Miriam. She has the Olympics to come as well as the regular World Cup season. She also has the option of competing in two disciplines in Sochi. Will she be tempted to enter any cross-country events as well as the biathlon programme? I think it comes down to how well she shoots. If she can improve her shooting statistics to over 80% for both disciplines then she will have a great chance of winning medals next February especially in the sprint which has so far been her best event. However if she doesn’t maybe she could consider giving the cross-country a go.

One motto of hers is to “live the life you love”. A great philosophy to have and it seems as though she is doing it. You can see how much she enjoys competing and the skiing in particular. I am really looking forward to following her progress next season and I’m expecting a bit of Miri magic in the Olympics too.

Selected results:

1st Sprint 2012/13 Ruhpolding (GER)
1st Sprint 2012/13 Oberhof (GER)
1st Pursuit 2012/13 Pokljuka (SLO)
2nd Mass Start 2012/13 Pokljuka (SLO)
2nd Sprint 2012/13 Pokljuka (SLO)
2nd Sprint 2010/11 Fort Kent, ME (USA)

Lukas: A lot to Hofer!

hofer

 

Lukas Hofer is an Italian biathlete. Born in Brunico on the 30th of September 1989, the 24 year old is a member of the Italian military. With a bronze medal to his name from the 2011 World championships in the mass start, I would argue that he is one of the best biathletes never to have won an individual race on the World Cup.

Selected results:
2nd Sprint 2012/13 Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS)
7th Pursuit 2012/13 Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS)
7th Individual 2012/13 Nove Mesto (CZE)
4th Sprint 2011/12 Oberhof (GER)
6th Sprint 2010/11 Pokljuka (SLO)
3rd Mass Start 2010/11 Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS)

However I don’t think that assertion will last very long. Finishing the season well with a win and a second place in the Military Championships in Annecy and a second in the last round of the World Cup, Lukas had a very positive end to the season. His ski speed is up there with the best of them and his prone shooting has always been good.

Where he sometimes frustrates is in the standing shoot. He has lost some opportunities at victory from good positions by missing one or two targets in the last standing shoot. Fortunately for Lukas he still young and I am sure these experiences will prove to make him a stronger athlete. Also shooting is arguably an easier skill to improve than ski speed so it’s something that is possible to resolve.

It is not easy for most of the current crop of biathletes to compete in an era with so many outstanding competitors. It is probably more difficult than ever to win a World Cup race. If you manage to beat Fourcade, you still have Svendsen ,Boe, Fak, Birnbacher and an assortment of Russians to get past. Difficult however is not the same as impossible. For Lukas and the other biathletes it’s a chance to test themselves against the very best and easy motivation to push themselves on to great achievements.

However as a member of the Carabinieri, Lukas could also use the tactic of arresting a few of those mentioned above when they compete in Italy giving himself a much easier chance of victory! Such underhand tactics aside I am hoping for a great season and Olympic Games for Lukas. With an improvement in his shooting stats I see no reason why he can’t give the others a run for their money.

He’s young, he’s talented and I for one think he has a lot to Hofer!!!

Also check out his website in Italian and German. It has a very cool opening page!
http://www.lukas-hofer.com/

Lander-trigger!

landi

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.