Sports show: It starts at the weekend: Are you satisfied with the preparation?
Hermann Weinbuch: The preparation was pretty good and went according to plan. We got through without major injuries or illnesses. Manuel Faißt had to sit out for ten days after a fall and Eric Frenzel was a bit tired in between, but quickly recovered.
Was the focus on jumping again?
Wine Book: Yes. We know that enormous developments are taking place there. We jumped a lot better last season, but the competition is not sleeping either.
Sports show: Jumping seems to be becoming more and more of a decisive factor in Nordic combined.
Wine Book: A few years ago running was the most important thing, now victory is only about ski jumping. This is due to a Jarl Magnus Riiber, who has the level of a specialist jumper in Norway. The level is so high that we have to follow suit.
Sports show: Do you like this development?
Wine Book: If you jump well, that’s great, but there are side effects too.
Sports show: Are you alluding to the weight?
Wine Book: It is well known that easy flies far. We’ll deal with it, of course, but the wheel is not going to be reinvented.
Sports show: What are your overall expectations for the season?
Wine Book: We have a very strong, balanced team and are really satisfied with the way things have developed. I think we’re in a good mood. I expect we will jump better. We’re going to do well, I’m sure of that. Our goal is to get close to the world champions Riiber and Lamparter. We want to be as close as possible to that.
Sports show: Who is your best athlete right now?
Wine Book: I can not say that. It can change from day to day. A week ago we had a test competition, which Manuel Faißt won in the finish sprint against Fabian Rießle and Johannes Rydzek. But the others were only two or three seconds behind. In Kuusamo it can look completely different again. This is a really cool hill, to master it you have to be a modern, complete jumper. The hill punishes one mistake more than others, but it is very susceptible to wind and you also need luck.
Sports show: You have seven good combiners, but only five guys are allowed to the games. Does that worry a coach?
Wine Book: I am glad that I have seven strong. It will certainly be a difficult decision and for this reason I have also increased the internal qualification standard. To get in safely, you have to be in the top six twice and in the top eight three times. Usually it is enough to finish in the top 15 twice, but I trust all of my people to do that. In order not to have to take a qualified person out again, I set it higher.
Sports show: In biathlon, the last World Cup places were awarded after an internal elimination. How was that in Nordic combined?
Wine Book: Several points played a role for us. The training and the setting all year round, the results at the Summer Grand Prix and the German Championships and the training impressions. Last year it was very close. This time the seven athletes have clearly prevailed. We have already lost Jakob Lange and David Mach. You qualified out.
Sports show: The best athlete from your team was Vinzenz Geiger who finished second overall in the World Cup. What are your expectations of him?
Wine Book: He has the greatest qualifications from our team. He has trained well and has become more stable in jumping. Last year his jumping performances were inconsistent, he worked on it and made a step forward. I think he has become more consistent.
Sports show: Eric Frenzel is a prime example of meticulous care. How did you experience his preparation – it’s already his 15th season?
Wine Book: I admire him very much. It’s unbelievable that he’s been marching in the World Cup for 15 years and still getting top performances. But he also notices that the 15 years have not passed without a trace. He has to divide his strength well, has downs as well, but always struggles his way up. He performed very well, especially in autumn. If he ever gets a run, he’ll be very dangerous.
Sports show: Could it be that Eric Frenzel gets a break from time to time?
Wine Book: That is possible, but first of all it’s about the Olympic qualification and he has to have it in the bag before you can do tactical things.
Sports show: The former high-flyer Johannes Rydzek finished eleventh in the overall World Cup, his second-worst result since 2013. He was practically not present at the World Cup. How was his summer preparation?
Wine Book: John had a long crisis. He was gone for two years. At the end of last year he had his first sense of achievement and he brought this momentum in well in the summer. He has made quite some technical progress in jumping and has also developed mentally. In the summer GP he was our best and he also won the German championship. He has pulled himself out of the hole and now hopefully found his way back to his old strength.
Sports show: Rydzek recently sharply criticized the award to Beijing. Do you see it similarly?
Wine Book: I would prefer the Olympics in Europe to take place nearby. We’re driving over with mixed feelings. But our focus now is a good start to the World Cup. And then we’ll see how it works with Olympia. One hundred percent joy does not arise.
Sports show: Do you know the Olympic routes?
Wine Book: We weren’t there yet. So far I’ve only seen the route profile and there was nothing unusual about it. The snow is sure to be the big issue. It will all be artificial snow, you have heard that sand is also used. That worries me more than whether the climb is steep or the route is winding.
Sports show: What are the goals for the Olympic Games?
Wine Book: We are world class and have always been at the forefront. We can’t take the result of four years ago as a yardstick, but our goal is to get a medal in every competition.
Sports show: For several years there has been speculation as to when you will leave office. You have now committed to the Olympics. Can you tell us more?
Wine Book: My contract is expiring. The season will show how things continue after that. Then you will see what my feelings say and whether I can still give the boys something. It is not entirely out of the question that I will continue to train the team in the coming season.
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Combined national trainer Weinbuch – “You can only win in ski jumping”