COC-Winner Jelenko: "It's really an honour to be the first!"
Since making his debut in the World Cup in 2009 and his podium result together with Gasper Berlot in this summer's team sprint competition in Oberwiesenthal, a lot of things happened for Slovenia's Marjan Jelenko. A bronze and a silver medal from the Junior World Championships in Hinterzarten and a silver medal and the title of Junior World Champion at the competitions in Otepää transformed the now 21 year-old into an athlete to be reckoned with in the future. In the last winter, Jelenko crowned himself overall COC winner. High time to take a closer look!
You won the overall Continental Cup ranking last winter, ahead of Geoffrey Lafarge and Mark Schlott. How important is such a victory to you? Did you celebrate a bit?
Marjan Jelenko: Yes, for me it was really good season in Continental Cup last winter! I was competing in almost every race at the beginning, then tried a couple of World Cup races. It didn't go as a planed, so I returned to COC. That actually turned out to be a smart idea! The overall win is quite important to me, since no Slovenian has won it before me. It's really an honour to be the first! Of course, I had a little celebration when I got home from Kuopio but nothing serious￼. (laughs)
What are your goals for this winter? Will we be seeing you in more World Cup competitions?
Jelenko: Definetly this season my goal is to compete in World Cup. But we will see in the beginning of the season how my form is and then we will decide if I start in Lillehammer or Park City.
The summer went quite well for you, too. Podium in the team sprint in Oberwiesenthal, two more top ten results. How do you look back on these competitions? What was good and what does still need improvement?
Jelenko: The summer was quite perfect for our team. Results like this really help for our further training because the motivation is a lot stronger. I was quite surprised about my roller skiing. It would be perfect if I could show similar performances in winter season. I am only a little disappointed about the two races I couldn't start because of those two bad jumps.
What are your plans for the time until winter now?
Jelenko: We have training camps in Pokljuka and Rogla to train for cross-country and we jump a lot in Kranj. Planica will also be ready soon, so we are really looking forward to train there. We also have plans to go to Predazzo and Oberstdorf in near future. And we have our national championships next month as the last competition in this summer.
Do you actually do anything besides Nordic Combined at the moment? What do you like to do to relax and gain new energy?
Jelenko: Well, I tried to study last year at the University of Sports in Ljubljana but when season was closing in, I had too much trainings so I had to leave the school. As a hobby, I really like basketball. It helps me to relax and lead my mind away from Nordic Combined. But during hard training camps, I relax on my computer as I watch films listen to good music and play games.
Anything else you always wanted to say in an interview?
Jelenko: Yes, I would like to say thank you to all the people that helped me during my career and hope they will continue the good work.