Italian Team in Forni Avoltri
|21.06.2012, Forni Avoltri / Luis Mahlknecht/ IBU Info JK|
|Highly Motivated Athletes|
|“Careful where you put your rifle, your barrel is full of ants!” advises Coach Patrick Favre to 20-year-old Alexia Runggaldier, new to the Italian A-team this year. The team currently is in Forni Avoltri for a camp.|
The Forni Avoltri biathlon center offers a good rollerski track at altitude and a variety of training opportunities during the summer. This time, Fabio Curtaz, the man in charge of the Italian program, is there to get a better idea of the development work of the “Azzurri.” The team structure was revamped this spring with Patrick Oberegger as coordinator; Andreas Zingerle in charge of the men. Patrick Favre and Alexander Inderst oversee the women’s team with the two of them coordinating, analyzing and planning together. Luca Sosio handles medical matters like lactate testing during this camp.
The whole men’s team is on hand for the camp with the exception of Dominik Windisch who is on vacation. His brother Markus is full of energy but about to leave for Oberhof for the ski tunnel. “I changed my material and now was invited to Thüringen to get to check out my new skis more closely.” The Antholz biathlete has good memories of Oberhof where the Italians won the relay competition last January. “It would be nice if we could continue from there,” Windisch says with a smile as he leaves the morning training session.
Some easy rollerskiing and shooting are on the schedule this day. According to the coaches, “We work a lot on strength,” including several loops of skating without poles. The staff is vigilant at the shooting range as they watch the athletes and then ask questions, comment, and make suggestions for improvements.
Hofer Leads by Example
Lukas Hofer is the top man on the team, but has no airs about him, just a role model obsessed with training. Zingerle cautions as they head out on a hike, “Please don’t go too fast!” Pulled by Hofer, Veteran Christian De Lorenzi and newcomer Pietro Dutto and local athlete Michael Galassi who lives nearby are pulled along by Hofer.
Grandma and Juniors
On the women’s team Michela Ponza refers to herself as “Grandma, “ in a group that has Runggaldier and Nicole Gontier fresh from the junior level, plus the still young Karin Oberhofer and Dorothea Wierer. “It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the girls. From the first day, they really fought, bit, were looking for their position in the group and tried to improve. At the same time, they are critical of themselves in a positive way, which brings them forward,” Inderst explained happily. In the afternoon, they work with their weights, lift them up repeatedly 10 or 20 times, with hardly any break. Their reward is a volleyball game matching the women against the coaches.
Although the current camp is a joint one; that will not always be the case this summer, before the team moves to on-snow training as early as possible in the fall. In the meantime, the IBU Roller Cup in Forni Avoltri at the end of August is a highlight, with the Italian Championships at the same location one week later. The “Azzurri” want to make better use of this venue and get to know it better as it will host the 2013 IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships.