Who to watch out for in 2022/2023?

Every year we see new names emerging in the World Cup and IBU Cup series, some of which you might be familiar with from their junior years. We have listed a couple of names, who have concluded their junior careers in the past season and are worth your attention in the future.

The German power-trio

Germany dominated the junior team competitions, winning all nations, women’s, and men’s scores, and it is fair to say that experience played a major role in the success of the women team. Luise Mueller, Mareike Braun and Lisa Maria Spark all spent their last season amongst juniors, finishing third, sixth and seventh in the overall score.

Each time one of them competed in any relay, Germany ended up on the podium. In the beginning of March, all three of them, together with their younger teammate Johanna Puff, celebrated the end of the season with a silver medal in the Junior Women Relay at the Youth and Junior World Championships.

In their future careers, all of them can build also on their individual successes, which comprise multiple medals, including those from this year’s Junior World Championships, or an Individual Crystal Globe.

„I am looking forward to being one of the big ones in the new section. To measure and fight with them, but at the same time continue to look at what they do and to develop some things even further. I am already looking forward to this winter. “said Mareike Braun who has been training with the German senior team since September 2019.

Italian hope for next Olympic success

Being selected as part of the “Milano-Cortina 2026” team, Iacopo Leonesio will be one of the home-crowd favourites for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games, alongside other well-known athletes such as Didier Bionaz, Hannah Auchentaller, Tommaso Giacomel or Rebecca Passler.

The 22-year-old from Aosta ended his junior days with a fourth place in the overall rankings, becoming the best Italian among junior men. The past season he has also added his first ever individual podium, when he finished third in Sprint at the Junior Open European Championships.

Building on the first WC experience

Another name to look out for in the upcoming seasons is the 21-year-old talent from Finland, Otto Invenius. He first jumped on the podium in 2019, when he won the bronze medal in Sprint at the Youth World Championships. Three years later, he made his mark also amongst juniors. Two silver medals at the Junior Open European Championships and another silver medal from Sprint at the Junior World Championships gave him a chance to taste the atmosphere of World Cup competitions two months ago. In Oslo, he symbolically closed his junior career and opened the door to a bright future.

finally overtake) those athletes. I have always liked challenges and this one sounds pretty attractive to me. As my coach and my mentor Adam Adamson always reminds me 'We didn’t come this far just to get this far’. “

Photos: Reichert/IBU

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