„The results will become more mixed during the season!“
TUESDAY TALK: Willi Denifl (AUT)
Austrian veteran Willi Denifl remains unfazed in the face of the seemingly effortless domination of the German team which could be seen so far. For TUESDAY TALK, the 36-year-old recaps the first two World Cup weekends from his perspective, gives some insights into the new mixed Austrian team and tells what he’s especially looking forward to in the long season 2016/17.
We have seen a very dominating German team on the past two World Cup weekends. What is making them so strong at the moment and do you think that you and your teammates can have a say about the best ranks on the upcoming home weekend in Ramsau am Dachstein?
Willi Denifl: The complete German team is really strong at the moment. They knew how to develop on the hill and also on the track. You can see that they did a fantastic job over the summer. But we Austrians are not so far off, we also did our homework and I am sure the results will become more mixed during the season. I am convinced that we can fight for the top results in Ramsau. It’s bound to be a close and exciting race on both days.
You are coming to Ramsau with a first top result, a second place from Ruka on your merit list for this year. How important was this confirmation of your training work to you to have a good start into the World Championship season?
Denifl: It always feels great to have some results in the first competitions. It makes the next steps and the preparation of the important month of January easier because you can work and train with peace of mind.
In Lillehammer, we saw quite an interesting constellation in the Austrian team. You were on start with three youngsters: David Pommer, Mario Seidl and Philipp Orter. How does the exchange between the generations work in your team? Is it a special feeling to be part of such a young team?
Denifl: We are a pretty cool group which is completely mixed. I am able to show and teach a lot of things to the young guys due to all these years of experience. The new energy they bring has been very good for me as well. The cohesion and the willingness to help each other has really grown. We support each other and are happy about each success.
How satisfied were you with your individual performances in Lillehammer?
Denfil: Lillehammer was very positive for me because I was able to take another step in the right direction in the jumping part. On the cross-country track it was okay but it’s still a bit hard for me on such a difficult track at the moment. My build-up is focussed on January and February.
How did you spend the past weekend without World Cup competitions?
Denifl: I spent it with some training sessions on the jumping hill and the track. But I also took time for family life because that’s often drawing the short straw in the winter.
In January, the Nordic Combined World Cup will really take off fully. Which competitions are you looking forward to most?
Denifl: For me, one highlight chases the other. My favourite places Lahti, Val di Fiemme and Seefeld are on schedule and I am just looking forward to picking up the pace and doing one weekend after the next. This is what we train for very hard during the whole year.