Günter: "The organisational level in COC has really improved!"
What Nordic Combined superstar Eric Frenzel demonstrated in World Cup this winter, his teammate Andreas Günter mirrored in Contintental Cup. With a clear margin of 149 points, the resident of Freiburg won the overall ahead of Austria's Harald Lemmerer and Truls Soenstehagen Johansen from Norway. A few weeks after this triumph, fisnc.com spoke to the 25-year-old about his goals for the next season and the new exciting venues he went to this winter.
Andreas, you've just won the Continental Cup overall 2012/13! How satisfied are you with your winter? What was good and what does still need improvement?
Andreas Günter: In my opinion, you should first and foremost be really happy when you win the Continental Cup overall… which I definitely am! Of course it has also been my aim to be considered for the World Cup again but at the moment this is really really tough as we have such a strong team. After a realistic assessment of the situation, I decided to focus on the Continental Cup and winning the overall this winter.
For the first time, you also had a Final Individual Gundersen competition with two jumps and 15 km of cross-country skiing on schedule in the Continental Cup. How was the experience?
Günter: The Final Individual Gundersen competition with its two jumps and 15 was very nice for me personally. It also simply was a change to our regular competition formats, even if it only came very late in the season.
In the Continental Cup, you are often spearheading the moves to new venues and OCs. This year, the "exotic" and new venues were Chaikovskiy, Russia, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden and the brand-new large hill and cross-country facilities in Planica, Slovenia. How did you like the competitions there?
Günter: Regarding Chaikovskiy, the hill is top, the cross-country track is top and the organisation was flawless, too. I was pleasantly surprised though it was really really cold with -25°C (laughs). In Örnsköldsvik, the first thing that catches your eye is the railway track which leads over the outrun of the hill, that was quite … interesting! But the organisation was perfect and the cross-country track was very beautiful and diversified. In Planica, the hill is very very modern and it is totally fun to jump there!
Apart from that, I really have to say that the organisational level in Contintenal Cup has really developed in a very positive way in the last few years. While I will be keeping the most positive memories from Chaikovskiy, all of the new venues presented themselves in top shape!
Are high flyers like Marjan Jelenko, who won the COC overall last winter and who has managed to establish himself in the Top 20 of the World Cup by now, positive examples which give you additional motivation for your work next season?
Günter: Of course, athletes like Marjan Jelenko or also Fabian Rießle who did the same a year before are giving me hope that it is possible to establish myself in the World Cup tour as well. I hope that this is a good omen for me now! (laughs). It is definitely my goal to call attention to my results and shape for the World Cup team, to establish myself there and take the next important steps in my career.
How will you spend the time until the Summer Grand Prix now?
Günter: Mainly I will be training, I guess! But I also have to take care of all kinds of day-to-day things which are coming up now or which have been left over from during the season when you don't have that much time to deal with the daily stuff.