Five Burning Questions for Tomas Mikyska

Tomas Mikyska is a rising star in Czech Biathlon: six individual IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships medals and the best men’s team result in their home IBU World Championships, a stunning one-penalty tenth place in the men’s 20 km individual.

Now for the rest of the story… Last August, Mikyska tore the anterior cruciate ligament of a previously injured knee at the IBU SBWCH requiring major surgery and a long recovery (normally in the six-month range) including almost four weeks of non-weight bearing. Yet, only four months and week later, he returned for the Oberhof Sprint, hit 9-of-10, finished 40th and was on the way to competing in Nové Město na Moravě.

After finishing 26th in Sunday’s IBU WCH Mass start, the 24-year-old Mikyska answered five burning questions and told us something few people know about him.

Biathlonworld: Back in August when you tore your ACL, did you think you might not make it to the IBU WCH or were you totally optimistic you would be back at 100%?

Tomas Mikyska: I was sure I would return by then and be fine. I tried not to dwell too much on the injury. I was more uncertain about whether I would secure the nomination (for the team).

BW: What was the hardest part of your rehab and work with the physio?

TM: The hardest part was watching the competitions on TV and not being there. Otherwise, I remained positive and gradually returned to training.

BW: Was there a huge feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when you got back to the World Cup in Oberhof?

TM: I was definitely looking forward to finally getting back to competing. At the same time, I was probably more nervous than before my first competition. But it turned out well.

BW: Your best World Cup level results have all in IBU World Championships (SBWCH, Oberhof and NMNM), is being a “big game player,” at your best on the big stage part of your mental makeup and how you handle pressure?

TM: No, not really. I'm not preparing for it in any special way. Even here in Nové Město na Moravě, where there was a roaring atmosphere, I tried to take them as normal competitions. I don't know why I usually perform well right at the peak of the season.

BW: What was it like competing in and getting to get your career-best result in your home World Championships in front of such a huge crowd?

TM: It was unbelievable! The fans created a fantastic atmosphere, and I'm glad I could thank them at the finish line of the mass start. I achieved my best result at the World Championships, especially on home soil, so I must be satisfied. I really enjoyed the whole Championships.

Biathlonworld Bonus: What is something that few people know about you?

TM: I like biathlon, but I'd rather be a F1 driver. I am a big fan of Lewis Hamilton. My dad supported McLaren, the team where which Lewis made his debut, and I liked how he raced back then.

Formula One: speed and anything can happen, just like biathlon, so the next move for Tomas Mikyska is to emulate Hamilton by stepping atop the podium in a BMW IBU World Cup competition.

Photos: IBU/ Christian Manzoni, Tomas Mikyska, Petr Slavik

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