Five Burning Questions for Baiba Bendika

Baiba Bendika finished fifth in the Sprint at the BMW IBU World Championships in Nove Mesto na Morave, her best result at the flagship biathlon events. Her career highlight happened less than five months after she gave birth to her first-born son, which makes her effort even more compelling. She backed her Sprint achievement with 11th place in the Pursuit, her best Pursuit in the last four seasons.

What does the fifth place in the Sprint mean to you, considering you achieved it at the World Championships?

It's really amazing to have good World Championships. And especially now that I'm a mom. So it's an extra special feeling. And it's nice to share these positive emotions together with family.

And how did motherhood change your outlook on things?

It's different now, you know that there is much more besides sport. Of course, it's nice when you have good results. Then comes a day like today in the Individual, when I had the fourth fastest skiing but missed eight shots, which is very disappointing from the sporting point of view. But I can go to my room and hold my son. And that changes everything.

Analysing your best results, one can see that you have one great race per season. What falls in place for you - on a day like last Thursday, the day of the Sprint in Nove Mesto?

It's always a bit different. Sometimes, you try to hold on to a certain feeling, but it's never the same. So yeah, I guess it is just never giving up and keep working hard and searching for opportunities.

Latvia was one of the teams that got ski preparation right in the first week of these Championships when even some big teams struggled. Did you walk close with your waxers to achieve that?

I'm really proud that our small team prepared skis on a very competitive level. We are a tied-knit group and want to thank our waxers for their outstanding work again. I hope it gave courage to other smaller teams and showed a way for their success.

Header iconFive Burning Questions for Baiba Bendika

Have you ever competed in a better atmosphere than we are witnessing at these Championships?

It's always great in Nove Mesto. People cheer for all the nations, and that is wonderful. That so many fans showed up in the rain speaks volumes.

And the bonus question: Who will be the Queen or the King of Nove Mesto?

I would go with the Queen and Julia Simon.

Photos: IBU/ Vianney Thibaut, Nordic Focus

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