Two for Hochfilzen…Johannes and Dominik
Johannes Thingnes Boe
Johannes Thingnes Boe although only 23-years-old already is a two-time World Champion, with ten World Cup victories on his resume. Although illness sidelined him in early January, he quickly recovered, winning the Antholz mass start and once again moved into medal contention at the IBU World Championships. Fast shooting and well-planned strategy, and fast skiing are the keys to his success, as he showed in his clean-shooting Antholz victory. This was his first win since the Gold medal last year in front of the home crowd at Oslo; no surprise that it was once again in a mass start. “Winning in Antholz felt very special and was very important for me...I've been off form for too long, so it was not easy to stay positive during those times. Thankfully I have not lost my fighting spirit and my hunger for victory, so I kept trying and trying; it paid off!” He could seize an individual medal in Hochfilzen in any competition, plus men’s and mixed relays, as he did in both Oslo and Kontiolahti, winning three medals each time. It will not be easy for Boe with a big pack of athletes aiming for medals on the Austrian snow. It is safe to say he will not go down without a big fight and at least try and defend last year’s mass start title. Best chances for medals: sprint, mass start, mixed and men’s relay.
27-year-old Dominik Windisch is Italy’s best shot for a medal among the men. Last year in Oslo, he finished just off the podium three times; fourth in the mass start and mixed relay and fifth in the sprint. This year he will arrive in Hochfilzen, hungry for that first World Championships medal. He brings two aces to Hochfilzen: first, his two podiums in Oberhof: third in both the sprint and pursuit, after sickness over the Christmas break. He admitted lack of expectations brought him success. “I came to Oberhof without any expectations. Maybe it’s the best way for things to happen; when you have no expectations, things happen much easier.” Ace number two is his family in the stands since Hochfilzen is so close to his Rasun/Antholz home. He commented, “I am excited since the WCHs are the most important event of the year. Hochfilzen is very close to my home; many members of my family will be there, including my parents, which makes it very special.” Windisch is good bet in mass start; his only World Cup win was in his favorite event. “I like the mass start the most, where a lot depends on strategy. You have to find your rhythm and do your own work. It’s easier in the mass start, because you simply don’t have time to think about anything. In the individual, you ski alone on your loop, and you have time to think about everything.” This year, his shooting has improved up to 86% in prone and 75% in standing. With good shooting, strategy and family support, Windisch might add a World Championships medal to his trophy case. Best chances for medal: mixed relay, pursuit, mass start.