Five Burning Questions for Otto Invenius

Last season, Otto Invenius toiled on the IBU Cup circuit, earning four end-of-season BMW IBU World Cup starts. The 2022 IBU JWCH Silver medalist showed enough there to earn a full-time start on the top circuit in 2023/24. Early this season, he struggled, spending a lot of time running penalty loops, and after Lenzerheide, he came down with Covid. In the past two weeks, his shooting and results improved dramatically culminating with three sterling Antholz competitions, 11th in the single individual, 6th in the single mixed relay culminating with his first-ever top 10 in the mass start.

Now heading to his first BMW IBU World Championships, we asked the 23-year-old five burning questions plus one more about his upbeat, positive attitude.

Biathlonworld: Did you come to Antholz ever thinking that you would have two personal bests in two four-stage competitions at altitude?

Otto Invenius: Actually not, the four-shooting races has not been my strength and I usually struggle the first days in high altitude. I knew that at some point I’d be there. but this was not the place I was expecting it to happen.

BW: You had quite a battle in the mass start, what was it did it feel like fighting in that last loop and crossing the finish line with that first-ever top 10?

OI: There was lots going on in the last loop. I felt good towards the end and I really wanted that top10 position. But just when I caught up with Endre Stroemsheim in the biggest downhill, he fell down in front of me and I fell with him. I broke my pole and lost one position but I’m super happy that I hung on for that 10th place!

BW: You came down with Covid in December, was that maybe a blessing in disguise, adding some extra rest before the second trimester started?

OI: It’s never a good thing to get Covid. This time I was lucky that it was so easy for me. Those couple extra rest days were good at home and I got to do some things I enjoy outside of sports, such as playing a lot of PlayStation. Nevertheless, when I got healthy again, I felt ready to race!

BW: In your last six competitions, you have only missed seven of 90 shots fired, what has changed for you on the range?

OI: I’m super happy with my shooting these weeks’ it’s on a whole new level. I haven’t been doing anything different technically, it’s just the mindset that has changed. I feel more relaxed, focused, and free during the races at the moment. I have also a new race-day routine that has been helping me with this mindset. On every race day morning, I play some PlayStation to keep myself entertained and to get my mind off of the race.

BW: Top 10 is checked off you list of goals, so what else would you like to achieve this season?

OI: The Top10 was great, but I still feel like I can do much better. My goal is to go step-by-step closer to the victory. I believe that I can still improve my results until the end of the season. The podium is a big dream of mine. Let’s see what this season has to offer. The main goal is still to enjoy every moment along the way!

Biathlonworld Bonus: What do you do to stay positive when things don’t go as expected, and times get tough?

OI: After all this is just biathlon. Life has to offer so many more beautiful things and there is always something good going on. For me relationships are the most important and I do everything to keep those healthy. When everything is good at home, then I don’t have a thing to worry. If you feel too much stress, put on "Let it Be” by the Beatles and just listen. It helps, trust me.

Photos: IBU/ Vianney Thibaut, Nordic Focus

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