Tag Archives: Mateusz Janik

Wojciech Janik: The Interview!

Wojciech Janik is a Polish biathlete. The 18-year-old was born in WaĹ‚brzych and has competed on the Junior World Cup, at the Junior European Championships and also at the Youth World Championships. His best result to date is a 7th place in Otepaa, Estonia in the Youth Individual race from last season’s World Championships. His older brother Mateusz is also a biathlete and they are now the first brothers to have both done a Biathlon23 Interview! 🙂

Follow Wojtek on Twitter: @wojtekjaniks
Like his Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/wojtekbiathlon/

Why did you become a biathlete?

I think that the adventure with biathlon began mainly from the big sporting traditions that my family has.

You finished 7th in the Individual at the Youth World Championships. Can you tell me about the race? How did you feel at the end?

It was an amazing race for me, at the last shooting I missed the first shot which buried my dreams for a medal, but I came to the World Championships with the intention to enter the Top 10. At the finish when I saw the results I could not believe that so many were missing the medals, I gave everything on the track but it was not enough. I know that I still have to train a lot and return to the World Cup next year even stronger.

You competed on the Junior World Cup last season. Was it a good experience for you?

It was a very big and good experience for me because it was my debut in the international arena.

Your brother Mateusz is also a biathlete. Do you train together? Does he give you any advice?

We always train together when we’re at home between national assemblies. When I was little, Mateusz was my idol and I wanted to do everything that he did and thanks to him I became a biathlete. Mateusz so far has given me tips that I try to use in every situation.

How do you balance training and competing with your education and social life? Are there things you would like to do but can’t because of training?

I am a person who puts 100% into sports and nothing else matters to me. My family and friends understand it and support me in it.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strong point is definitely to endure a high training load. When it is really hard to train, I start to enjoy it and give it more. My weakness is the pressure which I sometimes do not handle as well as I could and I know I still have to work a lot on that.


What are your goals for this season?


My goal for this season, of course, is to compete for Youth World Championships medals, but my main goal is to get to the Olympic Games in 2022 in Beijing.

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

It is Ondrej Moravec. I am impressed with his running technique, his character as an athlete and of course his results.

Describe yourself in three words.
Determined, Strong, Hopeful

Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): Norway
Favourite rifle design (any biathlete): Marketa Davidova
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Czech Republic
Favourite shooting range: Nové Město na Moravě
Lucky bib number: 23
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU/Junior Cup: Kuba štvrtecký
Best thing about being a biathlete: Satisfaction with sports results.

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!

Raubichi: Give Youth a Chance!

doherty

For this year’s Youth/Junior World Championships all eyes will be turning to Belarus. The home of Darya Domracheva will be hosting this year’s Championships in Raubichi, a purpose built winter sports complex just 20km North East of Minsk. The Junior WC was first held in 1997 in Forni Avoltri Italy followed by the Youth WC in 2002 in Ridnaun also in Italy. You might recognise some of the former winners. If you are good enough to get a medal here you are joining some illustrious company.

Medalists from the YJWC’s include Andrea Henkel, Olga Vilhukina, Darya Domracheva, Magdalena Neuner and Dorothea Wierer. Some former male champions include Simon Fourcade, Emil Hegle Svendsen, Anton Shipulin, Lukas Hofer, Simon Eder and Jean Guillaume Beatrix to name but a few! This year’s races start with the Youth Men and Women’s Individual on the 18th of February and end on the 24th with the Men’s and Women’s Junior Relays.

The Youth section of the championships is open to athletes who are under 18. To qualify as a Junior you must be between the ages of 19 and 21 by the 31st of December which is the cut-off date for the age ranges. Each country has their own selection criteria by which they select the eligible athletes. Last year’s competition took place in Presque Isle, USA and showcased some great young talent that is coming through in biathlon.

The two biathletes who stood out in the Youth category were American Sean Doherty and Italian Lisa Vittozzi. Curiously they both achieved exactly the same results with both winning gold in the Sprint and Pursuit and silver in the Individual. Other impressive performers were Julia Schwaiger of Austria who won the Individual and Germany’s Anna Weidel who was second in the Sprint and Pursuit behind Vittozzi. France sent a strong team and reaped the rewards with two individual medals, one each for Julia Simon (bronze in the Sprint) and Estelle Mougel (bronze in the Pursuit) and team gold in the Youth Relay. Stand outs among the young men were Germany’s Marco Gross and Russia’s Dmitrii Shamaev who were 2nd and 3rd respectively in both the Sprint and Pursuit. Another young Russian, Yaroslav Kostyukov, won the Individual and Russia also won the relay ahead of Canada and Finland.

vittozzi

There were equally good performances from people just outside the medals who will be pushing to get on the podium this time around. America’s Maddie Phaneuf, Estonia’s Tuuli Tomingas and Russian pair Liliya Davletshina and Maria Ivanova will all be hoping to medal in the Women’s competition although some will be making the move to Junior level. The young Canadian guys will be looking for some individual medals to add to a very impressive Relay silver as will the young Finns who were third.

Last year’s Junior competitions were a little more evenly spread in terms of medalists. On the Womens side a Russian, Evgeniya Pavlova, won the Sprint, a Kazakh Galina Vishnevskaya won the Pursuit and Luise Kummer a German won the Individual. Austria and Canada also had success with Lisa Hauser and Sarah Beaudry. As for the junior men Russia’s Alexander Povarnitsyn won Sprint gold and Pursuit silver. The French team won gold with Fabien Claude in the Pursuit and silver and bronze in the Individual from Aristide Begue and Dany Chavoutier. Norway also turned up at this point with Tore Leren taking Individual gold and Sprint silver with Jarle Midthjell Gjoerven adding Pursuit bronze. The Junior Relays were dominated by the German Team who won both the men’s and women’s races.

Some of these biathletes will be competing again in Raubichi and some are now too old and will be hoping to move to the IBU Cup and hopefully the World Cup for their respective countries. One thing is for sure there is a lot of good young talent in biathlon at the moment and there will surely be new names that come to the fore in Raubichi especially in the Youth Category.

What is important to remember though is that it’s not all about medals and success. For the majority of the biathletes that take part it is great experience for them and hopefully a stepping stone to greater things. You don’t have to win at this level to be a great biathlete just ask Martin Fourcade. For many of the youngsters taking part it is not only a challenge to be selected but just to be able to get to the venue. Many are partly funded or not funded at all and have to raise their own money just to pay for flights, accomodation and food. They all deserve your support and so keep an eye out for all the results not just the TOP 3. So if you don’t normally pay much attention to the Youth and Junior biathletes now is your chance. You never know you could be watching future World and Olympic champions in the making. What are you waiting for – Give Youth a Chance!

I have to say a huge thank you and good luck to Maddie Phaneuf, Robert Sircus, Martin Femsteinivik, Brian Halligan and Mateusz Janik who were all kind enough to do interviews for me in the build up to these Championships! I know you will all do your best and I will be behind you all the way! Tom Lahaye-Goffart and Jarl Hengstmengel won’t make it but better luck for next time!

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!

Mateusz Janik: The Interview

janik

This week’s young biathlete is Poland’s Mateusz Janik. He was born on the 20th of November 1995 and has already taken part in 3 Youth/Junior World Championships. His best result came last year in Presque Isle where he finished 11th in the pursuit race. He also made his World Cup debut last season and I am looking forward to seeing what he can do in Raubichi.

You can follow Mateusz on Twitter: @mateuszjnk

As a Polish sportsman did you ever want to be like Adam Malysz and become a ski jumper? Why did you become a biathlete?

Not really, of course I admire Adam Malysz for his achievements, but I never wanted to be a ski jumper. When I was 10 years old, I started skiing, but the first time when I had the opportunity to shoot, I was 13 years old. My coach took me to train with a group of biathletes and gave me a rifle. To be able to shoot it was a very cool experience, but then I didn’t expect that this would begin my adventure with biathlon. Later, I went to train with a group of biathletes and so it remained.

How do you balance training and competing with your education and social life? Are there things you would like to do but can’t because of training?

Of course, it is difficult to reconcile study to training, but I have my priorities: first, training, and then the rest of the things. Then I don’t have too many problems with it. Between the camps, when I have some free time, I spend it with family and friends. Of course, like anyone my age, I would like to party, but as I said earlier, “first, training, and then the rest of the things,” so after the season, I find the time for the parties with my friends.

Will you be competing in Raubichi in the World Youth/Junior Championships? What is the selection criteria for your country?

Junior World Championships in Raubichi is for me the most important race of the season, and I am mainly preparing for them. Because of the results of the previous year, I do not have to qualify for this event and for the European Championships. In Poland, about who would go to these events, depends on the qualification of the Polish Cup in biathlon, and the decision of the junior team coach.

Do you receive any funding? If not how do you pay for equipment, travel etc?

The Polish Biathlon Association finance entirely the camps, traveling and all equipment (skis, boots, poles etc.) for the Polish Junior Team, so I don’t have any problems with it.

What’s the best and worst thing about being a biathlete?

The best thing is the ability to stand on the podium. This is an incredible feeling that I can’t describe, and the worst thing is the long stays away from home, but it is not a big problem for me because I really like to stay in the camps.

If you could steal one characteristic from another biathlete, what would it be, who from and why?

I really want to have the self-confidence like Martin Fourcade. At each start he is always confident and knows what he can do. It is this characteristic which I am often missing from the competition.

What would you like to change about biathlon? (the rules, equipment, schedule etc).

I really like biathlon as it is and I don’t want anything changed, however I like the competition such as in Moscow or summer Blink Festival and it would be cool if such competitions were organized more and for more biathletes.

Who is your role model? (in biathlon or in general)

I admire Michael Jordan for his achievements and his lifestyle.

What’s your typical day like?

I get up at 7 in the morning, I do gymnastics, then eat breakfast, short break and I go to the first training. I go back, quick shower, dinner, after-dinner nap and then a second training. When I come back I take a shower, then I eat supper and after supper I have free time for surfing the internet and other things. And about 22 I go to sleep.

Do you have any hobbies outside of sport?

I play the violin in my family folk band. I also really like to listen to music.

Does your rifle have a name?

No. I think that it is not necessary.

Describe yourself in three words.

Nervous, determined and stubborn

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon track: Oslo-Holmenkollen

Favourite biathlete (past or present): Emil Hegle Svendsen

Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): Sprint

Favourite/best race of your career so far?: Summer Junior World Championships Tyumen 2014 Sprint race: 2nd place

Favourite food: Spaghetti Bolognese

Favourite singer/band: I like all kinds of music

Favourite film:
The Expendables

Favourite sports team: Miami Heat

Favourite TV show: I don’t like and I don’t watch tv shows