European Champs in Czech Republic30.05.2016
Some pictures and comments from our successful trip to Czech Republic.
Sprint relay was held in Bruntal on Saturday. I was running second leg together with Judith Wyder, Martin Hubmann and Rahel Friederich.
With a 3rd place in the Sprint relay, the European Champs started very well for the Swiss team. It was my first medal on this level, so I was really happy with that. All four of us were struggeling with a tricky routechoise to the first control. But with some luck (one team in front of us got disqualified due to a missing control) it was good enough for a medal.
One day later, sprint qualification and final was held in Jesenik. Only Chlai was on the start line and he could easily qualify for the final. The sprint final was a very tight race. Chlai was running without any bigger mistakes on this tricky course and as always, he was pushing really hard towards the end. On the last four controls, he could realise four times the best leg time and could advance from 3rd spot to the very top, winning with two seconds only.
During the whole week, we could count on our small but beautiful Kyburz-Fanclub. To celebrate such a successful start, they were concerned not to get enough beer in the town.
Our chairmen of the Kyburz-Fanclub, as always cutting a fine figure. Thanks a lot for the support from our on-site Fanclub, but thanks as well to everybody at home cheering for us.
Of course we had some other fans there as well...
Next up was the Long distance. We both went through the qualification race on monday without bigger problems and were ready one day later for the final. Chlai did a good job, finishing in 7th position after 100 minutes of running, only one minute behind the medals.
I was very confident as well before the start. But it was not my day. I missed the very first control by more than two minutes. You shouldn't do that. After that the race was basically over for me. I couldn't find any power to keep on fighting.
Exhausted and disappointed in the finish: Fuck you. Fuck you all!
And as if my performance was not bad enough, I must have hit my toe somewhere during the race. At least I could hardly walk the next day. But fortunately, it was a rest day. We went to hospital for an x-ray to exclude that something was broken. The doctor said the bones are fine, but I should rest for two weeks. Of course!
Our physiotherapists and the painkillers did a great job. Thanks to them I was able to run the Middle qualification on thursday. I was still unsure before my start, but I could concentrate well on my technique and made it together with Chlai to the final.
Obviously to run a competiotion is not the best thing for a swollen toe, but at least it was not getting worse. I was worrying more about some muscles which felt like steel ropes after the race. But there was a solution for this problem too.
During the Middle final I could fully ignore any pain and did a really good job. I finished at a 10th spot, only some 20seconds behind a diploma. Missing 11th controll by some 30seconds was of course hurting a bit, but I was happy that it went that well and most important, I knew that I'm ready for the relay the next day.
Chlai was running again an incredible pace and did only one small mistake. Like this he's always a contender for the win. And truly, Chlai got his first individual medal in a forest discipline. And it was the Gold Medal! Great!
Of course Chlai was very happy with that, as was the whole Swiss team. The Swiss team gets now five starting places at World Champs for the middle distance (3+ reigning World Champion Daniel Hubmann+ reigning European Champion Chlai).
Thanks for that. Newspapers are still unable to cope with two brothers. Come on, can't be that difficult!
The Relay was the last competition of the European Champs. I was running the first leg in the first Swiss team together with Daniel Hubmann and Chlai. So there was some pressure not to fuck it up. But again I had a very good run and could hand over to Dani in the leading pack. It was a big relief for me after such a turbulent week and of course I was quite optimisitc concering the race stuation. But unfortunately Dani had not his best day. Two minutes after the leading teams, Chlai was heading out for the last leg, but there was not more to get than a 5th place in the end. At least the second team won the Gold medal.
Although there was no happy ending for me and Chlai, there was still a happy Andy and a happy Chlai leaving from Czech Republic. We had a great time with a very successful Swiss team. Probably the best team in the world...