Janka in great shape
Everything's good to go. That is the news Carlo Janka brought home to Switzerland from his camp in Argentina and Chile. The time spent in South America was a success: Janka's reporting that he is feeling better than he has for a long time.
Janka, a native of Obersaxen, spent time training with his Swiss teammates in two different environments. Both provided an opportunity to refine technique and work to gain top form. Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city, and the gateway to Antarctica, was the chosen location for the first period of training. Located at altitudes between sea level and about 900 meters, it is an ideal environment for intensive skiing. Afterwards, Janka followed a diverse program in Chile, where he undertook downhill and super-G training in La Parva, at altitudes between 2,500 and 3,600 meters. The goal here was to regain a sense of speed.
When Janka returned to Switzerland he was deeply satisfied and felt that he's returned to his peak physical condition - a sensation he has not experienced at this point of his training season for a number of years, mainly due to a mysterious virus that plagued him. Regardless, Janka still won the overall World Cup title in 2010 and a gold medal at the Vancouver Games the same year, and finished 3rd overall in 2011.
In La Parva, many overseas athletes use a facemask to increase their supply of oxygen while working out on an ergometer or relaxing in the hotel. It is said to speed up their recovery. Something, given his prime form, Janka did not feel he needed: "I'm healthy and feeling powerful," he joked when asked why he did not sport a facemask.
If it was possible to make predictions for the season ahead based solely on pre-season training, one might conclude that the world will see an even stronger Janka, especially because his coaches are duly impressed by his performance. However, in sport anything can happen and Janka is doing all he can to dampen the increasingly euphoric expectations about next season. "Everything's looking good at this point but nothing really counts until racing starts," he said, "the other competitors haven't exactly been asleep this summer either."
Indeed they have not been asleep - in fact, there has been a steady stream of criticism and debate surrounding new rules about the materials that are supposed to make the skis less aggressive and thus safer. Janka prefers to tune out this aspect of the sport. "It's not a done deal yet so I'm just concentrating on what counts right now and on next winter," said the 25-year old.
For Janka and his male rivals the World Cup starts on 23rd October with the giant slalom in Sölden. Until then he will be training on the Swiss glaciers he knows well.
Contributed by Key Partners KPMS, www.primeskinews.com