Five Burning Questions for Campbell Wright

Last weekend in Ruhpolding, the USA’s Campbell Wright reached a new career milestone, finishing with a personal best 12th place in the sprint, just two days after going 10-for-10 and at one point, leading the relay. The 21-year-old with dual US and New Zealand citizenship right has been fast-tracked to success since his World Cup debut at the 2021 IBU World Championships. He was the second-ever teenager to score World Cup points and last March won the IBU Junior World Championship Sprint, shooting clean, leaving his nearest competitor 35 seconds back.

After his big weekend in Ruhpolding, Wright answered five burning questions and one more about an influential person in his life.

Biathlonworld: Spectacular relay leg, clean shooting, in the lead, what did that do for your confidence coming into the sprint?

Campbell Wright: Yep, it was a super good relay. Honestly it didn’t really give me heaps of confidence going into the sprint because lots of people can have one random good day. A lot of times in my past I’ve struggled to follow up a good performance. So it didn’t change much going into the sprint.

BW: After that sprint you were pretty pumped, can you describe your emotions after a breakthrough like that?

CW: The sprint was pretty emotional for me mainly because at the start of the season I was really bad (100th course time). I was taken off the World Cup to go to a training camp. That was super disappointing; it was easy for me to think my season was over (probably a bit dramatic, looking back). So, it was just so good to be not only back but better than I’ve ever been.

BW: Ruhpolding is the most shooter-friendly range, did it feel that way last week or did you have to work hard to go zero, zero in the relay and then zero, one in the sprint?

CW: The range in Ruhpolding is super easy and it felt like that for me in the races, but shooting always feels easy when you’re ‘on’ so I think I would have shot well anywhere.

BW: How tough has it been competing in the World Cup over several seasons as basically the youngest guy against all of the big stars?

CW: At the start being the youngest in the World Cup circuit was mentally hard just because if I didn’t go clean, I wasn’t making pursuits and accordingly I wasn’t racing that much. It’s been nice to see it become easier: I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable skiing with the big stars. I was definitely star-struck my first few World Cups!

BW: If you look ahead at the next two months, any goals you wish to share?

CW: My goals these next two months is to try hold the form I have now. I know that’s a big ask, but why not set a big goal?

Biathlonworld Bonus: Who is the most influential person in your life and what was the best advice that person ever gave you?

CW: Someone who’s had a lot of input into my sport life is my oldest brother (a professional road cyclist). His advice (thinking about the huge efforts that go into professional cycling), “Campbell you’re a biathlete you’re not working hard.” I think he’s 100% correct!

More personal bests could come soon for Campbell Wright. Antholz is the place where he first jumped into the spotlight, finishing 15th in the 20 km individual at age 19!

Photos: IBU Jaroslav Svoboda, Nordic Focus

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