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Their season has been quite contradictory. While Kjetil Jansrud sat on the sidelines due to injury, Alexander Aamodt Kelde went from triumph to victory in sprints at the World Cup.
The two start Sunday in the Olympic hills of Yanqing, in the mountains 70 kilometers north of Beijing with two very different starting points.
Kilde is a favourite, Jansrud as an outsider.
– I feel lucky to be here, says Jansrud at the press conference three days before the race.
– With the reservation, I will not be sent here as a tourist… It used to be difficult to get here and it seems like a victory, but now everything is reset to zero. Focus has a pure tendency to move automatically.
Because 36 years does not collect posts. Collects medals, victories and podiums.
He knows how to achieve Olympic success. Even after long damage interruptions.
Painful and useful
In Sochi in 2014, the 28-year-old Finstra man won a miraculous Olympic gold one year after destroying his cruciate ligament. This time he got back on his feet much faster than expected and it was a shock when he announced his preparation for the Olympics two weeks ago.
But despite only having two months on the sidelines this time, there are things he could take with him from the 2014 experience.
– I use this experience. Especially the last two weeks. Everything is a learning process. You learn a lot from good experiences and also honor a lot from less good experiences. Somehow, you take everything with you, Jansrud tells TV 2.
– What I personally bring with me is the feeling that I am some kind of underdog. Not to be a favorite, but to be able to take a bite out of me. Knowing how you feel can be used positively.
A big difference is the training competition.
– I’m somehow in a slightly different situation this time. I haven’t been in any races and it feels like I’m starting the season in my first practice here. Then you will have a great time. Now I have two days. It’s a bit exhausting feeling.
– Are there any advantages to weak competition?
The answer to that requires that I know what is on the minds of Alexander and the others. Whether they’re mentally tired after a long season, or they’re feeling it physically… I’ve come full of energy and have had several good experiences in recent weeks, says Jansrud before adding:
The disadvantage may be greater than not having a full season. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. For some it will be the opposite. Adrian (Smiseth Sejersted) and I have a lot to win, while Alexander has absolutely everything. I think this combination is good for the team.
A major role
Jansrud’s surprise return was met with cheers by Alexander Aamodt Kilde.
– loved it. I was sure he’d make it happen early in the process, and I crossed my fingers for it, says Keldy.
– Kjetil is an incredibly good guy to have on the team. Not only because he is a nice guy, but because he can help with a great experience. He can answer most things.
I’m good at making those around me calm down. I push myself to perform, but we’re here to continue the good direction of the other boys. Jansrud says I am holding on to the clouds.
– I hope Alexander will give a little peace, too. To not stand alone and take responsibility. And then it’s a good idea to share a room with him, so we can drag him to the ground a bit after all the good results, says Jansrud and laughs.
In any case, an impressive level appears to be on its way for Alexander Aamodt Kelde, who on Friday was the fastest ever in the second of three pre-race exercises. And Norwegian athletes love the track very much.
– It’s a great cool track, with a high pace and some very demanding technical elements. This makes driving a lot of fun, says Kjetil Jansrud.
The fact that the snow at the facility is 100 percent synthetic doesn’t matter to him either.
– Kunstnsø thrives very well without mixed natural snow, so there are great conditions from start to finish. It’s nice to drive.
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