Athlete of the week: Fabian Riessle
Not always a rising star in nordic combined is attracting attention with podium results and spotlights. But, Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow us to focus on a young man this week who showed strong performances in the shadows of Magnus Moan, Bernhard Gruber, Tino Edelmann or Mikko Kokslien in the past weeks in the: Fabian Riessle.
When Fabian Riessle crowned himself junior World Champion with the team in his home in the Black Forest, he already competed in the World Cup a couple of times - he made his debut on January 4th, 2009 in Schonach. In the following year he won the overall ranking of the Continental Cup and since the 2011/12 season he is a member of the A-team in the World Cup.
The 21-year-old, who lives in Freiburg and is described by his teammates to be always in a good mood, but still ambitious and focused, could already attract attention with an eighth and sixth place in Lillehammer at the beginning of the season.
He was born in St. Maergen and not only brought fresh wind to the German team, but he is also a proof that the young athletes are continously getting closer to the best. Riessle already earned the respect of his teammates, and receives praise from the coaches especially for his abilities in cross country. Despite his positive development in jumping there's still room for improvement for Riessle, who got first interested in nordic combined by his brother Philipp.
Last weekend in Oberstdorf head coach Hermann Weinbuch nominated him for the team competition instead of veteran Bjoern Kircheisen. Kircheisen is also convinced by the performance of his young teammate: "Fabian simply jumped five meters longer than me in the PCR. So it's absolutely right to give the younger athlete a chance. I won't be competing for many more years." In a group with strong Norwegian Mikko Kokslien, Riessle then knew how to seize this opportunity. The 21-year-old was not impressed by the very good opponent, but surpassed the Norwegian on the final climb. With his performance he secured the German team a good position for the final sprint.
Also in the following individual competition Riessle proved his currently great shape. After the jumping he was only 18th, with the fourth-best time in the race the athlete from the Black Forest then moved up to ninth, the third Top 10 result in his career.
His suprise about his own level of performance, was now replaced by expectations. Before the season Riessle's goal was it to be among the best 30 of his sport, how he speaks about a place in the Top 15 of the overall World Cup. But no matter what the rest of this season will bring for the young man - it's already clear at this point that nominating Riessle for the World Cup was another step in a successful future for the ambitious and talented athlete.
Mariele Stockinger/Silke Tegethof