Anamarija Lampič in Pokljuka with Christmas energy

The newcomer in the Slovenian biathlon team, Anamarija Lampič, shocked the biathlon community, as well as herself, in her first appearance in the World Cup, when she claimed fifth place in sprint in Hochfilzen., Especially with her fast running, she showed that she has the potential to reach the very top.


She is looking forward to the races in Pokljuka, which she will tackle with Christmas and New Year’s energy. For the first time after seven years and appearances in the New Year’s cross-country Tour de Ski, she was able to spend the holidays at home.


“I really looked forward to these holidays, because I knew that I would be home after a long time. First of all, it’s about socializing and, of course, also about gifts. Not big things, the meaningful ones are the small ones that make you smile. The most important thing it’s about being together, having fun, socializing, and having a good time,” says the competitor, who is happy to link the holidays with Pokljuka and the short journey from home to the next stop of the World Cup.


She is especially thrilled about the race in front of her home crowd. “Biathlon generally has more spectators than cross-country skiing. Not just in some races, but in all of them. It was just crazy in France.”


And how she experiences the burden of the domestic audience? “I can’t wait to see how I will handle it. I’m sure it will be good on the track, but I don’t know how it will be on the shooting range yet.” But it will definitely be different from the cross-country tour: “I don’t miss it at all! I don’t even follow the cross-country skiing very closely anymore. I’m focused on myself and the sport I’m in now.”


The Pokljuka tracks will undoubtedly be a small advantage for the competitor from the Medvode area. “I’ve been up here since I was a child. It’s true that the roller skiing track is not the same as the tracks in winter, but I can’t wait to study them thoroughly. Of course, I will also take into account the advice of Jakov Fak and other experienced competitors.”


She has already proven her quality on the track this year. This is the reason for the quick and successful transition to the biathlon career, which was a surprise also for her. “I didn’t expect all of this myself. Of course, I wanted good performances, but I didn’t believe that it would happen so quickly. Even now, the whole thing seems a bit unrealistic to me.”


The sprint in Hochfilzen and the fifth place were just the icing on the cake, as the performance came unexpectedly. “Only a relay performance was planned. After the good results at the IBU Cup in Idre, we added a sprint. I took all this as learning, fun, but everything came together in the race. I ran superbly, shot well in prone, and had three mistakes in standing, but I won fifth place. We were all shocked at the time.”


The only thing missing is an even better shooting score in a standing position. “I have full confidence in our coach Ricco Gross. We know who he is and what he’s accomplished. We started in prone and everything is going according to the plan. I only started shooting standing in September and here’s the difference. I hope the difference will be gone as soon as possible, even though the ups and downs will be present in shooting, as they are also present with other competitors.”


Lampič likes to emphasize that this season is dedicated to learning and gaining experience. She has her first too-fast start in the pursuit race behind her, but she took it with a laugh, because it was no longer possible to correct the matter after the mistake was made. “I was already laughing after 500 meters and told the serviceman about the mistake. He told me to just run and that it was nothing serious. I’m learning.”


The majority of learning awaits her at the shooting range. “I can already shoot prone with a slightly higher heart rate, but I don’t know exactly what and how while standing. If you are on the shooting range for too long, your legs start to shake, which is difficult for a beginner like me. You take more time to shoot and at the end, your legs start to shake, so I have to shorten the shooting time. But I’m tackling all of this gradually.”


And about the competition, the Slovenian biathlete says she was welcomed warmly. “I have already met many of them. Even the German Denise Herrmann welcomed me and wished me the best of luck before the sprint in Austria. After the race, she said I was crazy. I am glad that they accepted me, got to know me, and that maybe they are also a little afraid of me.”