Emil Hegle Svendsen Video Interview
|02.03.2012, Ruhpolding / IBU Info JK|
|Men’s Sprint Preview|
|Emil Hegle Svendsen won the World Cup Total score title in the 2009-10 season, last year finished second behind his teammate and best friend Tarjei Boe. This year, Svendsen, currently second in the standings has been battling France’s Martin Fourcade for the Yellow Bib and that top spot almost on a weekly basis. No question that Svendsen, who won two Gold and one Silver medal in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is one of the two or three best biathletes in the world today.|
Speed to Burn
When he is in his best shape, Svendsen is a top sprinter with speed to burn on the tracks. He showed devastating strength and speed in the pursuit and mass starts at Oslo, blowing away rivals within sight of the finish line. His downfall at times has been shooting, as in this season, when he had a very inconsistent December. Well aware of his problems, he went home over the holidays, worked both on his shooting and his shape. Since the start of 2012, he has been on the podium in six of the 11 competitions, racking up two wins, in the Nove Mesto sprint and most recently in the Oslo mass start. After that dramatic win in the final 400 meters in his home stadium, he said, “I wanted to give all of the Norwegian fans who came out here on a very cold weekend something special. It all worked out well…I have not won as many times as in some other years, so it was good to have this one.”
Wide Open Field in Sprint
Going into tomorrow’s sprint, Svendsen is just one of the favorites, because no one has dominated that competition so far this season. Sweden’s Carl Johan Bergman won the first two sprints of the season. Since that time, no man has more than one victory. That list includes Svendsen, 2011 World Champion Arnd Peiffer, Boe, Fourcade and Russia’s Evgeniy Garanichev. Any man in this group could end up on top of the podium tomorrow as well as Germany’s Andi Birnbacher, Ole Einar Björndalen, maybe even Lowell Bailey of the USA who was 8th and 5th in the last two sprints or one of several other Russian men. The men’s competitions are very closely contested. For example, the first 10 men at Kontiolahti finished within 19 seconds and over 20 were within a minute of the winner Martin Fourcade. That is the reason that Svendsen is among the favorites.
Although Svendsen is a tough and hard-nosed competitor, he does not live and die biathlon. He likes to have fun with his friends, hunt with his father and travel to “places without snow.” He admits that he quickly gets over bad performances, but always gives a full effort without “worrying about the consequences or results.” In the following video interview, Svendsen talks about his beginnings in the sport, his relationship with his teammates and goals for this season. A companion “30 Minutes with Emil Hegle Svendsen” article is in the next issue of Biathlonworld magazine which will be published next week.
“Emil Hegle Svendsen on Talent, Teammates, and Fun” follows.