Skiing For Gold – I Already Have Silver

FasterSkierNovember 11, 2004

Havard Bjerkeli of Norway is looking forward to getting the season underway for real and his goal is clear, World’s gold in Oberstdorf.
– Gold is the big goal. I already have a silver medal from the last Worlds. Looking at it that way makes only gold good enough. But I’m fine with silver if gold is lost in a fair way, says Havard Bjerkeli. He can end up with two gold’s at the upcoming Worlds. He has along with Tor Arne Hetland showed that he is good at the sprint-relay.
– The most important race is the individual event(s). Cross country skiing is an individual sport, and winning alone is the biggest accomplishment. But it would of course be great to win the sprint-relay too. What I’m daily thinking about is however the individual race. That’s the gold-nugget, says the twenty-seven year old.
A lot has to be done and things need to go his way too even get a start spot in Oberstdorf.
– No one is pre-selected, and I have to qualify the same way everyone else. The upcoming classic races will be very important, says Bjerkeli.
He feels that there are both positive and negative aspects by having so many good Norwegian classic sprinters that makes it hard to even qualify for a start spot.
– It’s a strength that we such a good team that you always know how high the bar is. You have to be focused in training. What’s negative is that you have to be in great shape for the qualification races. You might peak too early that way. But it’s definitely strength that we have so many good skiers, says Havard.
Norway and Sweden have dominated the classic sprint races the last couple seasons. Bjerkeli believes that this could quickly change.
– Having a classic sprint in a championship have made many nations prioritize classic a lot more. More skiers might suddenly step it up. The prolog is becoming tougher and tougher. There are not many seconds separating number one and sixteen, says Bjerkeli.
He feels that he is in reasonably good shape at the moment.
– I don’t think it needs to be a lot better at the moment. It’s always nice to be in good shape whether it’s a time-trial or a real competition. I don’t panic if I’m not racing well in Saturday’s Norwegian opener because I have trained well, but am lacking sufficient rest (to peak). It’s important to let up a little toward the weekend to achieve a certain “good feel”. My ambitions for the weekend is toward the sprint race, that’s where I can win, but I’m considering skiing two races in the opening, says Bjerkeli.



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