"I never expected the JWSC to go so well!"
TUESDAY TALK: Philipp Orter (AUT)
Before the Nordic winter sports world was looking to Sochi for the Olympic Winter Games 2014, the junior athletes of the Nordic disciplines had their season highlight with the Junior World Championships at the Italian venue of Val di Fiemme. Now that the excitement and hustle and bustle of the Olympics is over, it's time to give Triple Junior World Champion Philipp Orter from Austria the word in this week's TUESDAY TALK.
After Germany's Manuel Faisst, you are the next athlete who managed to come back home from the Junior World Championships with three gold medals. Was this something you thought might be possible before?
Philipp Orter: At the beginning, no, not at all. My goal was to win at least one medal in an individual competition so I would get my start right in the World Cup. And it immediately worked in the first competition! My jumping performance was good and I knew I was in a good place when it came to the cross-country part. After my first gold medal, I was pretty satisfied already, relaxed and just let the rest happen. That I would end up with three gold medals, well it couldn't have gone any better! (laughs)
How does it work from a power aspect to be able to perform on such a high level in three competitions which are quite closely together. Did you have enough time to relax and recover in between?
Orter: In my training we have had periods with big training amplitudes also five days in a row, so I was quite toughened up. We had two days in between the competitions, so it was no problem. I used these days very well to recover and focus, so it was all good.
In Fiemme, you and Germany's David Welde had a fierce duel going on from the first competition to the last one. How does it feel to compete with such a strong opponent and win?
Orter: Well, I have to say, I really had a lot of respect for David and his level of performance before the Junior World Championships and I was even more "scared" of Ilkka Herola who has already been among the Top Ten in the World Cup and also David's teammate Jakob Lange has been really strong, so I just waited what would happen in Val di Fiemme. This is why I was just hoping I would be able to get one medal in the end. I never expected that it would go this well!
How did you celebrate your success when you got home?
Orter: I had a reception in my hometown after getting back but I haven't had a big party yet. I will do that after the season.
What are your goals for your year with the personal start right in the World Cup until the next Junior World Championships?
Orter: I definitely want to establish myself in the World Cup. It is great that I now have the same opportunities as our A-team. I hope I will be able to watch and learn from them. In the next winter, I would like to be among the top athletes. I want to get away from having these big disparities in my jumping performance. I think I am okay in the cross-country part, I will do my thing there. We will see how it will go in the next winter.
What is your bottom-line after your first World Cup weekend as the Junior World Champion? With failing to qualify for the competition, it probably did not exactly go as planned?
Orter: No, for sure. At the beginning, I was pretty angry at myself that I failed this one jump, especially because it was really close in the end. But I tried not to let it irritate me too much. It was the first jump in a long while that felt really bad, the rest of my jumps were okay. So I will just go on and I am sure, I will not lower my guard again in Trondheim.