Tag Archives: Karoly Gombos

Marcel Laponder: The Interview!

laponder

Marcel Laponder was born in Pretoria, South Africa on the 23rd of May 1978. He competed for Great Britain after he moved to the UK when he was 21 and joined the British Army. It was through the army that he discovered biathlon and took up the sport in 2005. He made his World Cup debut in 2008 and his best result was 57th place which came in the Sprint race in Khanty-Mansiysk in season 2010/11. Unfortunately he has had to announce his retirement from the sport due to commitments with the army.

You can like Marcel’s Facebook Page: Marcel Laponder Biathlete


What was your best or favourite race from your biathlon career?

2011 Altenberg IBU Cup Pursuit race where I shot 0 0 0 0 going from 51st to 35th place and a then still active German Athlete said ”how did you do that dude!” That athlete was Daniel Graf who later was to become my coach.


What is your best memory from your biathlon career?

Too many… every race is special and is a honour and privilege to start in. One of those memories would be qualifying for the World Championships pursuit race in Khanty Mansiysk. This year getting my first chance to start the Relay as the first leg in the relay mass starts. The past season’s team atmosphere and camaraderie was memorable.

What advice would you give to young people who would like to become a professional biathlete?


The difference between making it and not is having the correct mind set. Biathlon is brutal not only physically but also full of disappointments which is over come by being mentally strong and having the confidence to believe you can achieve it. What you think will have a huge affect as this translates in to not only shooting reaction but also how you approach training and racing. Of course this alone is no guarantee and the correct smart hard training comes with it and of course a little bit of talent and luck.

You know Scott Dixon and Amanda Lightfoot very well. How do you think they will do this season?

Scott is still young and still has a bright future ahead of him, his strength in the past like his father has been his shooting. As long as Scott can keep securing sponsorship then he is the future of British Biathlon. His focus this season will be to qualify for the next OWG.

Amanda has the hunger for Biathlon. Her training program is brutal and for this she needs to be a tough cookie which she achieves by being mentally strong which also shows in her aggressive racing style. As long as Amanda keeps competing for a bit longer then she has it in her to one day to potentially achieve a top 30 or better. It is not a question if rather a question of when she will achieve it. This past season alone there was at least one opportunity where she nearly achieved this. Don’t forget she started really late in the sport, compared to other athletes who started when they were kids and compared to Amanda who would still be in their teens in terms of training years, then what she has achieved is pretty impressive.

What’s the situation in the Men’s Team this year? Will there be enough guys for the Relay team? What about for the IBU Cup?

Last year we were not able to enter all the relay events due to Jacko and Kevin who retired, also funding was limited for the far flung events in America. This has meant that as a nation we have dropped a start slot in the World Cup. One of the usual World Cup men will probably also be racing on IBU Cup due to the start slot this year. If there is enough qualified athletes then GBR could potentially enter the Relay on the World Cup although the priority this year is OWG. For IBU Cup we have upcoming athletes who are being trained by ex Olympian athlete Lee Jackson (Jacko). So his athletes will most likely fill the available IBU Cup spots.


Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?

Hochfilzen. I love the course with the fast technical corners and the short up and downs. It has a hard range approach which makes things interesting, I feel at home there and generally have always had descent results in Hocky. Also Forni Avoltri is a track which I love, it is an IBU Cup course. A small venue which has a hard track tucked away in the mountains with stunning scenery.

Perhaps not really a track but location. Frassinoro, Italy, which hosts the Frassinoro Summer biathlon festival, super friendly biathlon loving town and a great event with Italian flair.


Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?

Marie Dorin Habert and Tim Burke must be some of the humblest athletes and this I respect. Simon Fourcade I also like and is an athlete that I would really like to see do well.

Does your rifle have a name?

Hmm no

Describe yourself in three words.

Hmm I didn’t know so I asked three people:
my wife says: chilled out
Scott says: reliable
Amanda says: honest

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): I need to mention two, Canada and Norway
Favourite rifle design (any biathlete): Quentin Fillon Maillet has a sweet rifle stock.
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): I really like the suit of Finland this year.
Favourite shooting range: Hochfilzen
Lucky bib number: 23 🙂
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Ha easy… Scott Dixon…watching him attempting to pack his bag to travel to the next event is entertainment for hours.
Nicest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Karoly Gombos from Hungry always easy to talk to and approachable. The Japanese coaches are probably some of the friendliest on circuit.
Best thing about being a biathlete: Hard question to pin point, so many small things that add up. Being able to train in beautiful locations, the people and places that I meet and see. The race atmosphere created by the crowds. Its a hard sport with so many variables and just being given the chance to see if I can do it makes it worth it.

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Leandro Lutz: The Interview!

lutz

Leandro Lutz was born on the 5th of January 1982 in Brazil. He is a biathlete and also a cross-county skier (well everyone makes mistakes!) He currently competes in both disciplines and in biathlon he made his debut on the IBU Cup in 2009.

Follow Leandro on Twitter: @leandrolutz
Like his Facebook page: Leandro Lutz Biathlete & Cross Country Skier

A biathlete from Brazil! How did that happen? Tell us how you discovered biathlon and why you became a biathlete?

It all started a long time ago. I was a road cyclist in Europe at the beginning of the 2000s and saw the guys training for cross-country skiing during the cycling off-season to keep fit and it caught my attention. But I kept cycling and just tried cross-country in 2008 when I was cycling training in Germany. After that I returned to Brazil (2009), contacted our Snow Sports Federation (CBDN) and started training with roller skis by myself. That year I did some tests at CBDN and since them I have been part of the Brazilian Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Teams and I started racing in our Austral Season in July/August 2009.

Why a biathlete? Because it unites two opposing sports and combines the endurance sport (which I always practiced) and the precision sport (where the mind is very important). And of course, it’s extremely challenging.


Do you get any support from any sport institutions in Brazil? How do you fund yourself?

I have some support from CBDN and the Brazilian Ministry of Sports.

Also from my great partner Team Out There (Bjorn and Kris Hanson), a sports project from a family business (outthereshop.com) in Rice Lake-Wisconsin(USA) that helps athletes from all over the world (XC, Biathlon, Ski Jump and Nordic Combined) with sponsorship, contacts, promotion, gear and other means.

And of course my family helps me a lot. Here in Brazil I’m a lawyer and I worked really hard planning and saving money for my journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Now I’m a full time athlete thanks to the hard work that I did some time ago.

Can you tell me about last season, what races did you take part in and what results did you get?

My last season was really good with some personal bests and good times on snow. I did the first 3 IBU Cups (Idre, Ridnaun and Obertilliach) and after that I focused on cross-country training and races (my main goal for the 2018 Winter Olympics).


What are your plans for summer training?

I’m looking to spending more time in Europe training with top athletes and enjoying more time on snow. Also, I hope to go to the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships in Otepää.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: My endurance and focus.

Weaknesses: My technique and efficiency (it was not easy to start alone).

What are your goals for this season?

For biathlon I probably will race IBU Cups 4, 5 and 6 and the European Championships, hoping for below 200 points.

For cross-country my goals are qualifying for the 2017 XC World Championships and “B” Olympic Criteria with lots of personal bests.

Who has been the biggest inspiration or supporter of your biathlon career and why?

My family for all their support and my 2nd family Bjorn and Kristin Hanson for their vision and love of sport.

Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?

Obertilliach. It used to be our base in Europe and it was my first track in Europe, I think I know every inch of it!

Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?

Bjoerndalen, he is the King!

Does your rifle have a name?

I just call it “my Izhmash” and it’s left handed.

Describe yourself in three words.

Focused, hard worker and determined.

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon nation (not your own):
Italy
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Germany
Favourite shooting range: Obertilliach
Lucky bib number: 22 (23-1) 😉
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Karoly “Charlie” Gombos
Nicest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Christofer Eriksson,Pietro Dutto and Tobias Arwidson.
Best thing about being a biathlete:The challenge, the atmosphere and the big biathlon family.

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