Tag Archives: Slovenian biathlon

Klemen Bauer: The Interview!

bauer

Klemen Bauer is a biathlete from Ihan in Slovenia. He was born on the 9th of January 1986 and is currently in the Slovenian Armed Forces. He has taken part in 8 World Championships and 3 Olympic Games. His best individual result to date was a 4th place at the Olympics in Vancouver and in the Mixed Relay he has a silver medal from the World Championships in 2012.

You can follow Klemen on Twitter: @KlemenBauer
You can like his Facebook page: Klemen Bauer (Sportsperson)

Firstly can I confirm that you are not related to Lukas Bauer(from cross country) or Jack Bauer (from 24)?!! 🙂

I guess you can confirm that 🙂 Or maybe Jack is my unknown uncle.

You come from Ihan, the Slovanian Capital of biathlon, what’s so special about such a small place that it produces World Cup biathletes? Why did you become a biathlete?

There’s a very long cross country skiing and biathlon tradition in the local community of Ihan. The first ever cross country skiing race recorded in Slovenia was held in Ihan, more than 80 years ago. Besides that, there was the biggest indoor pig farm in Europe in Ihan, if that makes sense 🙂

You are also a soldier in the Slovenian Army. Do you have many military duties or do they let you concentrate on biathlon?

Hopefully we’ll never be sent to some crisis countries on a mission 🙂 As long as we only promote the Slovenian Armed Forces it is just fine. Let’s say we have some 10 days of obligations a year. In these days we just run every year’s 3 day course.

You have been suffering from mononucleosis. How has that affected you and what training have you done? Will you be able to start the season in Oestersund?

As soon as I was diagnosed with the virus, I started to cool down and faced the fact that “don’t do anything” is the best cure around. I turned it to a positive thing right away. For the first time in the past 10 years I was forced to take a one month break which I needed. After a month and a half I stared to practice slowly. All this time I was trying to stay patient. Now I’m able to increase the load every day. Hopefully there’s enough time to be ready for Oestersund.

Your best result so far was 4th place at the 2010 Olympics. What are your goals for this season? Is the main aim to get on to the podium?

After 2010 there wasn’t as much progress as I might have expected. I tried different things but just couldn’t get all the pieces together. With some extra changes this season, the goals stay the same. I’d like to improve all my best results so far and to be more constant.

You won the silver medal in the Mixed Relay in the 2012 World Championships in Ruhpolding. How was that experience and was it quite special to do it with such great teammates?

Those are great memories. Moments not to forget. Especially with the story behind it… We all know who crossed the finish line first on that day.

Describe your typical race day. What time do you get up? What do you eat? etc.

Usually the races are set later in the day, so I try to sleep as long as possible, to shorten the time before going to the venue. Oatmeal with different fruit, honey and some yogurt is my favorite breakfast meal. If there’s enough time before the start I usually go jogging and do some light stretching or activation.

What are your strengths as a biathlete and what are your weaknesses? Do you have anything that you specifically want to improve before next season?

I can be strong with a consistent high pace, long steep climbs for example. Unfortunately I’m not that fast or as explosive as some other guys. I’d like to improve my shooting statistics which I have been dealing with for my whole career 🙂

Coming from Slovenia you get to have a home race every year in Pokljuka! What is it like there and do you enjoy racing at home or is it a lot of pressure?

It’s a big honour and a great feeling to have a chance to show our best in front of home crowds. Sometimes it can be tricky with some extra pressure which we usually create by ourselves. I’m proud that the organization of my home race is on a high level and the athletes enjoy it.

True or False: Kremna Rezina is the best cream cake in the world! Are you allowed to eat it when you are training/competing? I hope so!

True. It tastes great. But there are some more other tasty Slovenian cakes. Come to Bled and try it. You won’t regret it. I can afford it sometimes of course.

Does your rifle have a name?

Not really. Sometimes I call her “honey”…when my shooting performance is OK. 🙂

Describe yourself in three words.

Sometimes easygoing, sometimes unstoppable, mostly a kind and nice guy, who never gives up 🙂

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon track: Kontiolahti
Favourite biathlete (past or present): Lars Berger
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): Sprint
Favourite/best race of your career so far? Kontiolahti, Pursuit, 2014

Follow @ biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!

Advertisements

Teja Gregor-win!

gregorin1

As you probably all know Teja Gregorin is another Slovenia biathlete who comes from Ihan, where all great Slovenian biathletes come from! Along with Klemen Bauer and Peter Dokl she makes up the triangle of talent from the small town. Teja was born in Ljubljana on the 29th of June, 1980 and is her country’s top female biathlete.

She switched to biathlon form cross country skiing and has been a member of the national team since 2002. She has had a pretty amazing career but like a fine Slovenian wine she seems to be getting better with age. In August this year in the Summer Biathlon Championships in Tyumen she won gold in both the Sprint and Pursuit and took bronze in the Mixed Relay. However her best result so far has to be the bronze medal she won in the Olympics in Sochi.

Teja also has a couple of silver medals from the Biathlon World Championships. She won Mixed Relay silver in Ruhpolding 2012 with Andreja Mali, Klemen Bauer and Jakov Fak. Back in Pyeongchang 2009 she claimed an individual medal finishing second in the 15km Individual. She has in fact taken part in 10 World Championships and 3 Olympic Games which makes her one of the most experienced women competing today.

On the World Cup she has been just as successful. She has 4 podium finishes to her name, 2 second places and 2 third places. Her best ever finish in the Total Score came in season 2010/11 when she was 8th overall and last season she came 13th. Since 2005 she has never finished the season outside the TOP 40 overall which is a remarkable achievement and a tribute to her incredible consistency.

There is however one thing missing from Teja’s fantastic career and that is of course a win. She has come close on several occasions but has never stood on the top step yet on the World Cup or in the Winter World Championships. That is why it was so pleasing to see her win in Tyumen this summer. It shows that she can do it and of all the biathletes it is Teja that I would love to see take a win this coming season. I am sure she is desperate to do it too.

So why is it in such a long and consistently good career that she hasn’t won? Well firstly it is really hard to win a race because there are so many great biathletes competing and there is always new talent coming through. Secondly Teja has some issues with her standing shoot. It is essential to victory as it is always the last shoot before the end of every race. Hers is not terrible but her prone stats have never dropped below 90% whereas her stand is normally between 70-80% which makes the crucial difference between coming second or first in the race. Her ski speed is not amongst the TOP10 and this is also a major factor in her results.

At 34 Teja doesn’t have too many years left at the top level but I am sure she will make the most of them. I know all biathlon fans wish her well and we are all hoping that we can soon congratulate Teja on her first Gregor-win!

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!

Slovenia’s best Biath-Pete!

According to the biathlon 23 system of ranking Peter Dokl is Slovenia’s best male biathlete. The reasons for this are threefold. Firstly Jakov Fak is Croatian, secondly Klemen Bauer doesn’t follow me on Twitter and looks a little bit like a lion!(although the second point does not affect ranking!)and thirdly when Janez Maric represented biathlete 23 in the Oberhof Pursuit he was 48th and scored no points!! Conclusive evidence then! 😉

Coming from Slovenia’s biathlon capital, the small town of Ihan in the centre of the country, Peter Dokl has been doing biathlon since 1996. Born on the 11th of January 1985 in Ljubljana he took up the sport because he lived a very short distance from his local club SK Ihan, which is also the club of Klemen Bauer and Teja Gregorin, and decided to give it a try. These three grew up together and all now compete for Slovenia which makes it officially the biathlon capital of Slovenia. It also has the honour of having the largest pig farm in Slovenia. Beat that Pokljuka! 😉

Peter first came to the attention of the biathlon community in 2004 when he won a silver medal in the 20km Individual in The World Youth Championships in Haute Maurienee, France. At the same event he won a bronze medal in the relay along with Klemen Bauer. He also won bronze in the Junior European Championships in Minsk in the same year and silver the year after in Novosibirsk both in the relay team again with Bauer.

His best ever result on the senior circuit was an 11th place finish in the Individual in Antholz in the 2009/10 season. That was one of the four times he has achieved a TOP 40 finish, three of them coming in the Individual event and one in the Sprint. Last season was a bit of a disappointment in an individual sense as his best result came in the Sprint in Kontiolahti where he finished 69th and is probably the reason he was named in Slovenia’s B Team for the new season. However from a team point of view Slovenia had a great year especially for the Men’s Relay team who finished 6th in Sochi. A remarkable achievement for a small country but they have a good team in which Dokl is joined by Fak, Maric and Bauer.

It seems as though Peter and Klemen like to do a lot of things together. They grew up in the same street, did biathlon together, won medals together and taking it slightly to extremes got injured together! In 2008 they collided with a truck while mountain biking. Fortunately Peter suffered no major injuries but he was forced to miss the 2008 World Championships. Bauer broke his collarbone in the incident.

So what is ahead for Dokl next season? Well I am sure he would like to improve his individul results, get back into the A Team and the TOP 40 to score some World Cup points. His best chance at this will probably be in the 20km which seems to be his best event. The relay team are improving all the time and I am sure he would love to help his teammates onto the podium in the Men’s Relay which is definitely within their capabilities. Lastly and most importantly I am sure he will want to retain his biathlon 23 ranking as Slovenia’s best biath-Pete!

Follow Peter on Twitter @peterdokl

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter!
Like biathlon23 on Facebook!