Fak: It’s time to level up

Seventh place in the pursuit in Hochfilzen and currently 23rd place in the World Cup standings are not achievements that would satisfy the appetites of 35-year-old Jakov Fak in the new season. The goals are much higher and already in Pokljuka, the achievement curve should turn upwards again.


“Really, it could have been much better. The last time in France it was difficult after the illness, but I’m glad that I was able to finish the races at all. Now, it will be necessary to take a step forward. I think that I can improve in running, and on the shooting range, to achieve more focus and calmness. I still have these qualities in me.”


In Finland, Austria and France, it was particularly noticeable that Fak missed the last shot too often, which is considered a classic biathlon mistake on the shooting range. “These are burdens from the season, but you have to survive that and work on it now. Missed shots in prone where it’s easier to hit, are especially annoying.”


Fak admits that the mentioned shots are also a psychological error and the short break after the first triad of the World Cup came just in time to improve his form. “Now we are at home. This is the right moment for changes. We have the conditions, we have time for training and we have to take advantage of that.”


“A lot of things can be improved during the season. It’s harder when the races follow one after the other. You travel, compete and do some training in between. Sometimes a competitor really manages to progress in one day, but usually we need a little longer, so this break is more than welcome.”


At least theoretically, Fak could benefit from the fact that he is no longer the only media-exposed competitor in the national team. This year a large part of the attention is focused on Anamarija Lampič, as well as on Polona Klemenčič. But the former world champion rejects this idea.


“I never felt it as pressure. Race was always an obligation that had to be done. I didn’t bother with others, I tried to do what I had to do and be as good as possible. But of course, it’s great that the women’s part of the team is making such progress. I hope that Anamarija will give some push to the other competitors.”


But Fak has similar desires also for the men’s team. “Only collective quality ensures better results. The common goal is and must be for everyone to improve their results and thereby improve them as a team. Of course, our sport is individual, but in reality, it is also a team.” Fak is well aware that a good team is a good basis for measuring each other in training sessions, and intense training sessions are the basis for good performances in races.


Pokljuka, where the long-time Slovenian national team member always had high goals, is just around the corner. “You always remember the best races at home. It’s nice to perform in front of the home crowd and I’m happy with every shout. I’m also happy that this year many young people will come again to see this sport of ours and maybe one of them will run on these tracks and we will find ourselves here in reversed roles years from now.”