Olympic medallist Jakov Fak is looking forward to the home World Championship, the future of Slovenian biathlon sees in bright colours

Biathlete Jakov Fak is entering its tenth season in the colours of Slovenia. In his rich career, he experienced ups and downs. He enters the new season, culminating in the domestic world championships in Pokljuka, with the aim of achieving balanced performances. He told us more about his career, current situation and goals in the following interview.

Jakov Fak was born on August 1st, 1987 in the Croatian city of Rijeka. He has been competing for Slovenia since 2010. As a member of the Croatian national team, he won a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships and the 2010 Olympic Games, where he was also the flag bearer at the opening ceremony. With the Slovenian team, he won four medals at the World Championships, including two gold medals and a silver medal at the 2018 Olympic Games. In addition, he has won eight World Cup races.

How did you get into biathlon? Who from the athletes did you admire the most?

I was into cross country skiing, then one day our coach got the idea we can try shooting and I like it. It was interesting feeling and I followed biathlon more and more. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen was my role model in the beginning, later other biathletes on top level.

What are your memories of the beginnings and junior times?

I was from small biathlon nation Croatia and I was learning through the traveling and competitions. In 2008 on IBU YJWCH in Haute Maurienne (FRA) I became Junior World Champion in Pursuit race after 8th place day before in Sprint race. On Pursuit race I had 1st ski time, won the Gold medal and it stay in nice memory to me.

What were your feelings when you changed citizenship?

Changing citizenship was hard period in my life for me and my family, with all the media around, talking about that theme, but for my career it was good decision.

What does the term of Olympic games mean to you?

Olympic Games are something special, pride, respect to the sport and athletes, one nice atmosphere. Im happy I managed to win medals on Olympic Games and experience whole Olympic atmosphere and spirit.

A coronavirus pandemic is currently threatening life around us. Did you train without any restrictions?

Coronavirus period effect our lives, but biathlon is sport where we can train outside and alone compare to some other sports, so I manage to do good trainings.

Were you surprised at creating pandemic bubbles in the biathlon calendar?

Im not surprised, people who works in event organisation knows that theme and how to do it right better than me, so we need to trust people who works in that area and do what we can do best to prevent coronavirus pandemic.

What is your goal for a new season?

My goal is to have constantly good performances through the season, be on top level with the best and we will see when we calculate points at the end of the season. The hardest thing is to be constant through the whole season, so I would like to manage that.

The World Championship is held in Pokljuka. Are you looking forward to these races?

Of course, IBU World Championship on place where I train the most is special feeling, Slovenian media and people can’t wait for that event so Im looking forward too.

How do you see the future of Slovenian biathlon?

Young athletes are coming, we have double Junior World Champ Alex Cisar, he is good talent, there are also few other boys who showed Top 20 results, so I see it as positive thing, they are good boys outside the track so I hope they will perform well on senior level.

Author: Nikola Badova

Photo: Facebook/Jakov Fak