In his now 13. In the world cup season, the saxon wants to be back in the top ranks and keep the young guns from his own team in check. "I’m going into the winter with a good feeling," said kircheisen before the start on saturday in lillehammer.
He has won twelve medals in his career at world championships and olympic winter games, more than any other active combined skier in the world. However, he has always been denied a title. This last sporting blemish kircheisen was only too happy to erase at the world championships in february. But he’s not putting himself under pressure: "I’ve had a lot of runs, but I didn’t make it. Gold cannot be forced. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be."
First, the focus is on the world cup, where he wants to get the tools for the season’s climax. For a good week now, kircheisen has been training with his teammates around world champion eric frenzel in lillehammer, where he is striving for a successful start. "Of course the form is still a bit mixed after such a short time on snow, but it is becoming more stable with each passing day. For the first world cup race we have to build up a good feeling and build on it in the following races," he said.
Kircheisen is already setting the pace again on the track. On the hill, however, he still has, almost traditionally, problems. The changeover to the tighter targets has not been easy for him. "It makes you more susceptible to wind. You have to be able to cope with that – especially in the current conditions – and also have a bit of luck," explained kircheisen.
Nevertheless, national coach hermann weinbuch is counting the experienced athlete alongside frenzel, johannes rydzek, tino edelmann and fabian rieble, who will be absent at the start of the season, as one of the team’s mainstays this winter. "Bjorn, eric, johannes, tino – and later hopefully fabian as well – are definitely good for top performances again," the coach said confidently.
However, weinbuch is not expecting any top results at the start, because the preparation in the olympic city of 1994 did not go according to plan. "It was quite warm and windy, so we couldn’t always do our sessions optimally. Accordingly, the team is not yet where it could be, especially with regard to the technique in jumping and running," weinbuch reported. But there is still plenty of time before the world championships.