Young & Wild: Yoshito Watabe (JPN)
Another promising athlete - another "little" brother: As Akito Watabe's younger brother, the sport of choice was probably not difficult to find for Yoshito Watabe. And similar to our "Young & Wild" athlete from last week, at first, the older brother was taking all the merits in this Japanese edition of a Nordic Combined family feud: "I am always winning in that family fight (laughs)! It's nice for me. It's not nice for my brother!", Akito said during the last season.
For the future, Yoshito is definitely on the right way to give his older brother a run for the money. "Yoshito Watabe has a lot of talent and could probably also become a ski jumper if he wanted, he has that much power at the takeoff", head coach Takanori Kohno says about his youngster. Right now, his job is improving his cross-country shape but coach Kohno sees him on a good way. Developing into one of the best ski jumpers of the field, Yoshito won PCRs and ski jumping competition rounds alike in this winter and just needed a little push in the cross-country track to finally claim his first podium result which he did on the last weekend of the season 2012/13 in Oslo.
Not surprisingly, he did this together with his brother who came in second. In typical Watabe-manner, the brothers later summed up their achievements as "Eric Frenzel was in the Watabe-sandwich today! Our mother will be really happy!". For the future, the fun-loving "Yocchi" can surely be counted among the athletes to watch out for… even without the help of his older brother.
6 questions with Yoshito Watabe
Favourite competition/venue and why?
It is Oslo! I was very surprised at first time in Oslo. So many people come to stadium and everybody gets so excited! I thought: "This really is a sacred place for the Nordics!" This year, Oslo became even more memorable to me because I got my first Top Three rank there and even stood on the podium together with my brother! But I think if I will get even better results somewhere else, that will be my favorite place. (laughs)
Something you've always wanted to say in an interview?
I make an effort to learn English, I really do!
I couldn't live without ... (and NC does NOT count as an answer here!)
Some coffee, comic books and good chair. It would be even better there if the chocolate is almond chocolate!
The mean question: ski jumping or cross-country skiing?
I like ski jumping when I can make a good jump. I like cross country skiing when I can ski fast. When both is so-so, I like Nordic Combined. (laughs)
When I am not training for Nordic Combined, I like to ...
"Working on fine days and reading on rainy days", that is a Japanese proverb! So, I like being outside on a fine day. I read a book or play a video game in the house on a rainy day. I will definitely be skiing on a snowy day, and sleeping on a stormy day!
If you had to go to a deserted island, who would you take with you and why?
Indiana Jones. My dream was to be a treasure hunter when I was a child. I would enjoy treasure hunting with him, and discover a big treasure. Of course, I would divide it equally. Don't worry, Jones! (laughs)
Yoshito Watabe Timeline
Born on the 4th of October, 1991
2000 National Debut
2007 First FIS competition
2008 First World Cup B start in Iiyama
2009 First World Cup start in Val di Fiemme
2013 First World Championship start in Val di Fiemme
2013 First World Cup podium, 3rd in Oslo, Norway
The story so far….
43 World Cup starts
2 World Championship individual starts
1 World Championship team start