Tag Archives: Seefeld

Anna Gandler: The Interview!

Photo courtesy of Anna Gandler.


Anna Gandler is an Austrian biathlete. She was born in Hall in the Tyrol region on the 5th of January 2001. Last season she won the individual race at the IBU Junior Open European Championships in Hochfilzen. At the Youth World Championships in Lenzerheide she took the gold medal in the pursuit, after finishing 4th in the sprint, and also claimed the bronze medal in the individual. She finished in 15th place overall in the total score on the IBU Junior Cup.

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Why did you become a biathlete?

First, I started with cross-country skiing, because my dad (Markus Gandler) was a very successful cross-country skier and he showed me the sport. The training was always a lot of fun. We always trained in Seefeld and there is a shooting range too. I think like every child, I was fascinated by the rifle, which was something special. A teammate of my dad, who has a cross-country school in Seefeld, gave me the opportunity to try shooting, although I was very young. Since then, I am a biathlete.

How do you assess last season overall? What was good and what was bad?

I have to say that overall, I am very satisfied with this season. The good things were the gold and bronze medals in the Youth World Championships and the gold medal in the Junior European Championships. The bad thing was the start of the season. I had problems with my muscles and could not find my performance.

What was your best or favourite race from last season and why?

My favourite race of last season was the pursuit of the World Championships in Lenzerheide. It was always a big dream, after the silver medal 2017 in Osrblie, to win a gold medal once. In addition, my family was there and it was such a great atmosphere.

What are your plans for summer training? Has the corona virus affected the plans or the way you train?

Corona only affected my training in the first weeks after the season. In Tirol, where I live, the rules were very strict. I trained a lot at home and I had luck because I have a dog, so I was allowed to go out sometimes too. Right now, everything is going according to plan.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I think my strength is the shooting, because I can be really focused, especially in prone. My weaknesses are the pressure I put on myself before competitions and my nervousness.

What are your goals for this season?

The next season is my first junior year. So my goals for next season are:
– to win a medal (World Champion and European Championships) in the junior class. I think it is possible, if I stay healthy, because I also won the gold medal in the Junior European Championships in Hochfilzen this year.
– to start and make good results in the IBU Cup competitions again.

Who is your roommate on tour and do they have any bad habits (eg.snoring) or good habits (eg.tidy)?

Haha… my roommates change all the time, but usually I am with Lisa Osl, Kristina Oberthaler and Lea Rothschopf. No, they haven’t any bad habits… maybe I am the one who is snoring sometimes ;).

You are having a dinner party with 3 other biathletes. Who would you invite and why? What’s on the menu?

I think I would invite Dorothea Wierer, Johannes Boe and Dominik Landertinger, because I want to know more about their training and experiences and in addition, they make a nice and funny impression (Landi I also know a little bit). On the menu would be sushi or tacos. Maybe sushi as an appetizer and for main course tacos haha. I really like that :).

What are your hobbies away from biathlon?

I play violin and I really like to do something with my animals at home. I also like cooking and trying out new recipes.

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

I really like the tracks which are in the woods like Pokljuka, Obertilliach or Oberhof, but honestly I don’t have a favourite one.

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

Oh I have many: When I was a kid I always said Magdalena Neuner and Christoph Sumann, because they achieved so much in their career. Now I am also a big fan of
– Dorothea Wierer, because she is so cool, her fast shooting is amazing and she is also interested in other things than sport, for example fashion.
– Laura Dahlmeier, it is amazing how many medals she won in such a short time and of course
– Dominik Landertinger. He has so often picked himself up and never gave up, also after his operation and always showed his performance when he needed it and his final lap was the best.

Does your rifle have a name?

No, but I just think about that.

Describe yourself in three words.

independent, tidy, ambitious

Quick fire choices:
Choose one:
skiing or shooting? I can’t decide, can I say both? 🙂
prone or standing? prone
against the clock or head to head racing? head to head racing
uphill or downhill? uphill (I am a bad downhiller)
mixed relay or women’s relay? both 🙂
morning or night? night
sun or snow? in winter snow and in summer sun 😉
roller skiing or cycling? roller skiing
alcohol or chocolate? definitely chocholate

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Suzuki Swift!

suzuki

Don’t worry I am not a second hand car salesman tempting you to buy a car! No, it’s my post about Japanese biathlete Fuyuko Suzuki.Japan is probably not the first nation that you think of when it comes to biathlon but they have a long if not greatly successful tradition in the sport. They had 2 participants in Seefeld, Austria in the 1964 Olympic Games where there was only 1 biathlon event and have continued sending them to every Olympics since.

Their best ever result came unsurprisingly in their home Olympics in Nagano in 1998 when Ryoko Takahashi finished an amazing 6th in the 15km Women’s Individual. Another famous Japanese biathlete is Isa Hidenori who competed in 3 Olympics and his best result was a 10th place on the World Cup in Pokljuka in 2009/10.

Their current star Fuyuko was born in Akita, Japan on the 13th of January 1989. During high school she was a cross country skier and then chose to make the change to biathlon as she felt it would give her a better chance to succeed. She is currently in the Armed Forces and made her biathlon debut in Oberhof in 2009.

She made her Olympic debut for Japan in Vancouver 2010 at the age of 21. Her best performance was 44th in the Sprint. She also finished 54th in the Pursuit and the Individual. In Sochi she was 39th in the Sprint, 32nd in the Pursuit, 52nd in the 15km and 13th with her teammates in the Women’s relay. She also took part in the Asian Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2011 winning silver in the 15km Individual and she helped Japan to a team bronze in the relay.

Suzuki made some good progress last season as she achieved her career best result in Ruhpolding taking 13th place in the Individual. In fact her 3 best ever results have come in that event as she finished 18th, again in Ruhpolding 2011/12, and 19th in Oestersund in 2009/10. She also managed 4 Top 40 results last season which was an improvement from only 2 the year before.

So Fuyuko has a long summer to continue training and try and improve on her results from last year. One of her aims must be to break into the TOP 10 and the Individual event is probably her best chance to do this. She has always had good shooting statistics and this is shown in her results from the 15km where an accurate shot is of vital importance to avoid time penalties. If she can improve on her ski speed surely she will enjoy even better results by being a little more Suzuki Swift!

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