In general, I reached the goals I set at the beginning of the season. I wanted to be top five in the World Cup Total Score and finished third. And I wanted to win an individual medal after 2008.
Still, there were many moments I was not so happy with. I will start with the World Championships. For the third time, I was so bad in the sprint that even the best time in the pursuit could not get me to a medal rank. That really got me motivated for a medal in the 15K. Now, afterwards, I am surprised about myself that it worked out the way it did. I stayed calm and focused during the entire race and did not get distracted by anything. Of course the long distance competition is the best one for this tactic. You do your own thing, get an intermediate time here and there and the rest of the time you are basically undisturbed. In the mass start, things were already different at the shooting range again. At that point, I was so happy about my Silver in the 15K that I was not very disappointed. Of course the two relays were not to our liking. In the mixed relay, nothing really worked out. Nobody of us was satisfied with their performance. In the women’s relay, at least Laura, our youngest and freshest one, set high hopes for a moment when she handed over to me in first position. It was a teary thing to finish fifth then. However, it needs to be said that there has never been such a close relay before. The year before or in the men’s relay the distance to the winner had put us in second place…
About the World Cup races... My skiing improved continuously over the season. At the beginning, it was really hard for me. At the shooting range, it took me longer and longer and I got more and more insecure. That’s something I will have to work on for the next season. Still, I often finished near the top. That’s how I kept my third place in the Total Score with only four podium appearances this season. I often lost the podium spot at the final shooting (something that was a strength of mine in the past). Without really thinking about it, I can name at least five competitions where I made things tough for myself at the last shooting: two times in Pokljuka, once in Oberhof, in Oslo, in Khanty…
Overall, I am happy that I improved compared to the last season. This tendency gives me confidence, that another improvement of my performance next season is possible.
There is a lot of talk about my age- rightfully so! However, I think that I proved last year that I am still competitive even in my mid-thirties. Not many women stay in the sport for so long but I am also not the only one. Uschi Disl, Magdalena Forsberg and Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek also successfully fought for medals well in their thirties.
To make a long story short: it was a good season with a lot of potential for the next one!