She is the great hope of the Slovenian Biathlon Championship, but she is now "flat" among the juniors

She is the great hope of the Slovenian Biathlon Championship, but she is now « flat » among the juniors

In the Slovenian women’s biathlon team, for the winter 2022/23, the standard members of Team A are only cousins ​​Polona and Shiva Klimencic. Even Slovenia’s World Cup quota in the women’s division is for competitors only, excellent cross-country skater Anamarija Lampič is also a resounding acquisition, but the most dangerous hope for the future of the Slovenian biathlon is 19-year-old Lena Rybnik. This is still a younger member, but she can definitely count on a chance at the World Cup.

Young Gorengka Lena Repink He is undoubtedly a rising star of Slovenia, and some brave people even consider world biathlon. Of course, these expectations did not come out of nowhere, she has ignited herself with truly extraordinary achievements in the past two years. Rebeneva shone at the World Junior Championships in Obertiljach, Austria, last March, when she won two golds and two silvers, one of the latter as a member of the relay team. After that season, she also received the Piotr Nurowski Award for Best Young Winter Athlete in Europe in 2021.

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Successes pile up, expectations grow

In February of this year, at the Junior World Championships in Soldier Hollow, USA, she added two more silvers to her rapidly growing pool of awards, a month later at the European Youth Olympic Festival (Ofem) in Vuokatti, Finland, another gold. She also performed stellarly this summer at the Biathlon World Cross-Country Championships, when she became the world runner-up in the super sprint in Ruhpolding, Germany. This time as a junior member.

If we add to this two titles of the national champion in the summer biathlon, then it is quite clear that Slovenian biathlete fans are already eagerly waiting for how the very talented competitor from the Boeing region will perform among the members. Expectations are huge, but she is not in a hurry yet. Even management of a specific type does not want to put too much pressure on their shoulders too quickly.

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Her main target for this season will be the Junior and Junior World Championships in Kazakhstan in March.

Her main target for this season will be the Junior and Junior World Championships in Kazakhstan in March. « Of course I’m trying to win a medal there. »
Photo: Grega Valančič / Sportida

Are you feeling stressed yet?

Perhaps she herself already realizes that she has become the great hope in biathlon for Slovenian ladies? “Honestly, I don’t feel much pressure yet, because I’m still just that linked member. I’m not yet an official member of the national team and at the moment I’m just a ‘flutter’ to train with the B national team and get some chances between the members. So, There’s really no pressure, it’s fun now, » answers the excellent shooter and fast runner.

Although she does not want to rush events and is « comfortable » in competition with the younger members, she does not hide her high ambitions as an outstanding athlete. “My biggest goal is of course the next Olympics. I want to do well there,” he says of his main long-term goal, the Olympics in Italy in 2026, and until then: “I want to do as much as possible in the ITF Cup matches this year. But I hope, of course, that I get some chances in the World Cup as well.”

The main target of her season will certainly be the World Junior and Youth Championships, which will be hosted in Shuchinsk, Kazakhstan, from March 1 to 12 next year. “Of course, I am aiming for a medal there,” the golden high school student, who finished this year at Jesenice High School, does not hide her lofty goals. But in Kazakhstan, she will already perform among the younger members. « This year I will rise to a higher category, and I know it will be more difficult, but my goal is still a medal, » he insists.

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Miha Dovcan, Anton Vidmar, Polona Klimnicič, Lena Rybnik and Lovro Blanco Photo: Grega Valančič / Sportida

Miha Dovchan, Anton Vidmar, Polona Klimnicić, Lena Rybnik and Lovra Blanco
Photo: Grega Valančič / Sportida

When will he participate in the World Cup for the first time?

She already had a chance at the highest level, last year in Pokljuka she took part in two world championships, finishing 89th in the sprint, and in the relay with Živa, Polona Klemenči and now retired Leo Einfalt, she finished 19th. Perhaps you will make your debut in the World Cup Finals in Pokloka in front of the home crowd? « Actually, I didn’t talk about it with the coach at all, but if I get another chance in a home game, of course I’ll be very happy. But I wouldn’t defend anywhere else in the World Cup, » answers.

Do you find any places particularly attractive? Perhaps Oslo because of its historical weight? Perhaps some Germans because of the popularity of the sport there and the number of fans? “I hear it’s also interesting in France, in terms of the fans, that the support from the stands is great, and Oslo for sure. Of course, it has its own place and everyone wants to compete there.”

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