Norway's Marte Leinan Lund won both Continental Cup events in Rena (NOR) and took over the Continental Cup lead from USA's Tara Geraghty-Moats, who was sidelined by sickness. For this week's TUESDAY TALK, the 19-year-old looks back on her success, her development this winter and why older sister Mari plays an important role in her sports career.
You won two Continental Cup events on home soil in Rena and have taken over the Continental Cup lead from Tara Geraghty-Moats by 5 points. You must be so happy looking back on the weekend in Rena?
Marte Leinan Lund: Yes, I’m very satisfied with my performance in Rena. The jumping hill in Rena is one of my favourite hills, so it was very fun that I was able to do good competition jumps there. It was also cool to celebrate my first COC victory on home soil!
You already won a Norwegian national title in Beitostølen at the beginning of the season. Would you say you took a bigger step forward in your development this winter?
Leinan Lund: I’ve had a lot of improvement over the past few years, and especially this winter. It’s very motivating to see the results of my training. I believe that hard work pays off, and I try to keep focusing on the small steps in my everyday training at home.
One of the many things I love about Nordic Combined is that there is always something to work on; either it’s a new skill to learn or a technique to practice. This makes every day different from each other, and that’s what’s making it so interesting.
Unfortunately, the Women’s COC events in Otepää (EST) had to be cancelled due to a lack of snow last weekend. What did you do instead?
Leinan Lund: I seized the opportunity to get a longer period of training at home. I also travelled back to Rena to participate in the junior National Championships. As mentioned, I really like both the hill and the cross-country tracks in Rena, so I was happy that I got to go back there.
The next events coming up will take place in Eisenerz (AUT) and feature the first Nordic Combined Mixed Team event on snow. Are you already excited for the weekend?
Leinan Lund: Of course, I’m super excited! I also took part in the Mixed Team event during the Summer Grand Prix this year. It was fun to compete together with the guys and learn from them. I think that the Mixed team is a very exciting event, both for the athletes who are competing and the audience who are watching.
With the FIS Nordic Junior World Championships coming up in Oberwiesenthal (GER), you will be able to fight for two medals this year, the individual and the Mixed Team event. What are your goals for this year’s title event?
Leinan Lund: Honestly, I haven’t set any specific goal for the JWSC. I think it’s a great event with lots of opportunities to gain more experience, and I’m looking forward to it. However, I hope that I will be satisfied with my participation in the Championships. My goal is to jump far, ski fast, and have fun!
You are one of the many athletes in Nordic Combined who is competing together with a sibling. How would you characterise your relationship to your sister and is it an advantage to pursue the same dream?
Leinan Lund: My sister and I have a very close relationship, and I’m in no doubt that we both play an important role in each other’s development. We train together every day, and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We can use this as a tool to keep developing and pushing each other to the limit.