“My goal is to take a medal in 2018, and right now I think my best opportunity is in the classic sprint.”
Norway’s world and Paralympic bronze medallist Eirik Bye may not have finished on the podium yet this season, but the 21-year-old is determined to make up for it at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Finsterau, Germany, from Friday (10 February).
With two World Cups finished and the World Championships on the way, Bye reflects on the season so far and shares his hopes for the rest of 2017.
“I am pleased with my start to the season, but it has made me hungry for more. I performed well at both Vuokatti and Western Center but I was just outside the podium. Before this season, my main goal was to be stable in the top five in all the World Cup races, in both classic and skating. So far, my lowest result is sixth, and that is much better than last year.”
He has saved his best performances for the sprint so far this season.
“I am most pleased with my two sprint races. In the classic sprint in Vuokatti, my goal was to be in the final. And I ended up as number four. This is my best performance so far. Nevertheless, I am pleased with my fourth place in the skating sprint in Ukraine. I have worked a lot on my skating this year, that’s why it was so pleasing to perform well.”
But Bye knows there are still areas for improvement.
“I mostly want to work on my technique in both the classic and skate. I feel that I have taken a step forward this year, but I really want to continue the good progression.”
Having started the season well, Bye turned his attention to the World Championships in Finsterau.
“All the races this season have been important preparation for the World Championships,” continued Bye. “To compete is the best training I can do because it`s a good indicator of my current status. It is also nice to see where I stand and which areas I can improve.
“I competed in the World Cup in Finsterau last year. It’s nice to have a good experience from the track. For me, a successful Championships means nice weather, good skiing conditions and good shape. Of course, a medal would make the home trip to Norway much nicer!”
With just over a year to go until the Winter Games in PyeongChang, Bye finished by sharing his hopes for 2018.
“I have never competed in PyeongChang but I look forward to trying out the tracks and conditions. My goal is to take a medal in 2018, and right now I think my best opportunity is in the classic sprint. But I will fight for the podium in all the races I start.”
The Finsterau 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will gather 135 of the world’s best biathletes and cross-country skiers from 25 countries in Finsterau between 10-19 February.
All races will be shown live, alongside live results, as Finsterau2017.com.