Wednesday, January 19

Dale’s Olympic downturn: – Had to have time to gather myself

11 months ago he was one of the world’s best biathletes and took both individual silver and bronze in the World Cup, but the Olympics see Johannes Dale (24) in front of the TV screen – just like the World Cup …

GREAT CONTRASTS: Johannes Dale with the medal catch during last year’s WC (right). This season has so far been a little nightmare for the biathlete.

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– It’s a little weird. Top sports are brutal, Dale admits.

After the opening races in Östersund – with a 23rd place as the best result – the 24-year-old was wrecked for the World Cup races in Hochfilzen, Annecy-Le Grand Bornand and Oberhof. At the same time, Dale lost the opportunity to enter the Olympic discussion.

When the national team colleagues go to the World Cup during the World Cup in Oberhof this weekend, Johannes Dale is in Brezno in Slovakia to go to the IBU Cup. There are great contrasts for the 24-year-old who finished fifth in the World Cup overall last season.

– Most top athletes face disappointments in their careers, and now it was my turn. I will not hide that I had to spend time rearranging my head and being able to find a new gift to be able to work on again, says a very honest Dale to VG after the disappointment has been digested.

Completely disconnected

The 24-year-old says it was important to get completely disconnected.

– I think it was wise that I took some time to gather, because there were a lot of thoughts. I had a good week where I trained, but also did a lot of fun. The times I did not feel like it, I dropped the training.

The national team runner does not blame the biathlon association for only having four races at the start of the season.

– I would have liked to have run more races, but I do not feel that I have been treated unfairly. I’m more disappointed in myself. What I delivered was not good enough and far from what I feel I can. When you do not get it weekend after weekend, it is natural that others get the chance.

Those who have been given the chance and seized it with both hands are Sivert Bakken and Filip Fjeld Andersen. Bakken has one 6th place and two 8th places in the World Cup this season, while Fjeld Andersen has a “fresh” 3rd place from the sprint in Annecy just before Christmas as the best result. The duo has the last two Olympic tickets.

Now Johannes Dale is back in the IBU Cup again after going over 50 individual World Cup races.

– A fight against myself

– It is a nice arena to come back to. In the World Cup, it is difficult to reverse a negative trend since there are so few days between each race. Carrying out a hefty restart is not always as easy when you are deep in it, says Dale and describes the process as “a battle against myself”.

– Now I get to go cross-country skiing and practice what I have to. In the long run, it can be good. I hope to emerge stronger from it in the long run. Now I’m ready to strike back, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

– How has the support been from the others on the national team?

– I have talked to everyone and received many nice messages. It’s been nice. It’s great that they care and that they do not forget me even if I am not on tour. I miss breakfast with the guys and seeing the same snouts every day. I usually look at them more than the lady, says Dale and laughs.

After this weekend’s IBU Cup in Slovakia, Dale gets a chance in the World Cup again next week. The Norwegian Olympic team is in fact over the gutters in German Ruhpolding to complete another height stay before the championship.

– Now I get to test myself properly and get answers on whether what I have tried to change has worked. I am really looking forward to going to Ruhpolding. I have been there before and have good memories from there, says Johannes Dale.

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