"I would like to be among the top contenders in the TRIPLE!"
TUESDAY TALK: Björn Kircheisen (GER)
After the last weekend, it is safe to say that German old-hand Björn Kircheisen has lost nothing of his prowess on the hill and track. With two second places in his luggage on the way home, the year started promising for the 30-year old, a trend he would like to continue to the TRIPLE and the Olympics as he told fis-ski.com in this week's TUESDAY TALK.
Björn, after two second places in Chaikovskiy, you said that you're very satisfied with your past weekend. As there were a lot of the top athletes missing, how do you judge the significance of this World Cup weekend?
Björn Kircheisen: I have to say, sometimes it is even harder to reach the top ranks in a starting field like this. The level of expectation is so high because everybody thinks this is easy and you will be in the top naturally. But it's not like that. And in the end, you have to say that there were people in the top ranks on this weekend who were also not bad in the last few weeks. For me, I can say I am on one level with them in order to assess the weekend. I did my job. And I also think this would have been enough for a top ten rank if everybody had been there.
Chaikovskiy was a first-time World Cup venue. How did you like the hills and track?
Kircheisen: It really was a perfectly organised World Cup. I haven't seen it that often in new venues that everything works this well. The sporting facilities were in great conditions, so there was nothing to complain about. The hotel is really close to the hills, the wax technicians were very happy with their work room and the exhaust hood and also with the test track. So a big compliment, as fas as the sports side and the venue went, the organisers have done a great job!
There has been a lot of talk about the conditions this weekend. First, the extreme cold and then on the last day the wind at the big hill. How do you deal with this as an athlete?
Kircheisen: From my perspective, well, sure it was cold but it was a dry cold. Compared to Kuusamo, there was a lot less humidity so it was actually not so bad. It was nowhere near the point where you say: we can't do it. So except for this one Austrian guy who froze his ears (Editors note: Harald Lemmerer), there were no injuries or anything. We prepared well to deal with the conditions and it really was not a problem.
As the Russian new year and Christmas holidays are just over, it's probably still okay to ask for a new year's resolution. Made any this time?
Kircheisen: The only thing was to show better performances than in the past few weeks. I actually had quite a good summer and so I wished that it would go better again. But this past weekend certainly was a good start into the new year and I hope it continues like that.
What have you done in the off-time from Christmas until last weekend?
Kircheisen: I actually trained a lot. I jumped a lot, went back to Oberwiesenthal for some training and I also skied quite much so there was not a lot of time for regenerating. I was mainly focussed on this World Cup in Chaikovskiy. For sure, I also enjoyed Christmas but I mainly trained a lot.
With the Nordic Combined TRIPLE, we have another highlight set before the Olympics. What are your expectations towards this event?
Kircheisen: It's a little difficult to say. If you botch the first competition, the other ones are gone because everything is building up on the results of the day before. So it's important to be good in the first competition. Seefeld is a hill which is not that easy to jump. So I hope for a good start into it and would definitely like to be among the top contenders. That's the goal. But next to that, the big goal obviously is getting into shape for the Olympics.