“The best feeling is being on top”

Norway´s Maren Lundby celebrated her second World Cup victory in Sapporo on Sunday. The 22year old has meanwhile nine World Cup podiums and is third in the overall World Cup ranking. Fisski.com was talking with her about her season and her goals.

Fisski.com: Maren, congratulations for your victory in Sapporo. It was your second win in the World Cup. How much different is the second win from the first?
Maren Lundby: Both have been very good, I think. I don’t think it felt worse this time (laughing). My jumps where even better this time and it feels better. Also, winning twice in this short time is great. I´ve proved, that it was not just a coincidence in Nizhny Tagil.

Fisski.com: In Nizhny Tagil it was a very close result. In Sapporo you actually outscored your competitors and set a new hill record. Was it the perfect day for you?
Lundby: Yeah, I would say so. I made two good jumps. In Nizhny Tagil it was only one. That´s why I won with more points. It feels good to know, that I can perform like this and it gets me further.

Fisski.com: In Japan everyone is waiting for the 50th World Cup victory for Sara Takanashi. How special is it for you to beat her on her home ground? Or doesn’t it matter to you?
Lundby: It is special to beat her. Because she has been basically unbeatable. Sara is outstanding and it is my goal to beat her. She is a great girl but of course we all want to win.

Fissski.com: How much thoughts do you spent in general for your competitors? Is it a goal to beat a certain girl or do focus on yourself mainly?
Lundby: The best feeling is being on top. I try to focus on myself. But of course we all knew how unbeatable Sara was so you can´t get around thinking of her.

Fisski.com: You already came very close to the top in the past but you couldn’t make the last step. Now it was your second victory already this season. What is different than in the past?
Lundby: I think I´ve just took some steps in the right direction during the summer. My jumping in the summer was much more constant and on a higher level. During the past years it was always an up and down. This season I´ve made very many good jumps.

Fisski.com: How difficult is it to keep this high level?
Lundby: Very difficult. You are always trying to give your best but it´s hard work.

Fisski.com: Skijumping is mainly happening in the head. Is it easier now not to overthink things and just let it happen? Lundby: I hope it’s getting easier. In the past I’ve tried to push things. Now I am just more aggressive and more confident. The mental part is very important.

Fisski.com: Next stage for the ladies is Zao. How much do you like the Zao hill?
Lundby: I like it very much. It is a very nice hill and I´ve had good results there already in the past.

Fisski.com: Let´s look a little further. It´s only a few more weeks till the World Championships in Lahti. It´s pretty close to your home. Are you nervous thinking about it or just looking forward?
Lundby: It´s both actually. It is a goal I am looking forward to but at the same time it makes me a little nervous. I hope to be on the podium and to be able keeping t together (laughing).

Fisski.com: How big is the attention for Ladies Ski Jumping in Norway? Can you see that you are getting more in the spotlight with your victories?
Lundby: The media is very much focussing on the men. But of course with good results I am also getting more attention. I think that is very important for our sport because this way we can also get more girls to do ski jumping.

Fisski.com: Besides the World Championships there is still one more highlight to come. The big World Cup final of the ladies´ season in Oslo on the Holmenkollen. Ever thought about coming there in a yellow bib?
Lundby: It would be perfect (laughing). But that’s a long way. So far Sara is pretty far ahead in the overall World Cup. I have to take it step by step. I definitely want to be better than last year, when I finished the season on 6th place.

Fisski.com: The Norwegian ladies´ team is pretty small right now, only you and Anniken Mork. Are more talents coming for the future?
Lundby: Yes, there are some girls. But they still need some time to get on the right level. Anniken is on a good way. Also, Silje Opseth is making a lot of progress. Line Jahr is coming back after her injury still this month. I hope we will be a strong team, especially for the mixed competition at the World Championships. With two girls and two guys in a good shape we will have a fair chance to fight for the medals.

Fisski.com: Next year the Olympics in PyeongChang are coming up, this year there will be the first World Competition on the Olympic hill. How do you prepare when you are getting to a completely new hill for the very first time?
Lundby: We are trying to get some documents and information together, about the hill profile, for example. We are trying to find similarities to other hills and going to train on similar hills.

Fisski.com: You had a day off in Sapporo on Monday. Did you celebrate a little?
Lundby: Yes. It was also Anniken´s birthday. We had an easy training session and went for some Ramen soup. And I did some shopping (laughing).