Ski queen Therese Johaug is triggered by Swedish successes: "It needs the sport"
Therese Johaug has shown top form during the preseason. Not least when skis were changed to running shoes at the Norwegian championships in athletics. Nevertheless, the ski queen from Norway is preparing for a hard season - from the east. - Many Swedish girls have taken steps forward. It's a competition that triggers me to become even more focused. It needs cross-country skiing, Johaug tells SVT Sport.
In early August, Therese Johaug ran home a 10,000 meter gold during the Norwegian Championships. The time 32.20.87 impressed greatly and has allowed the cross-country star to open for a championship career in athletics.
- You should never say never. It would be fun to try. But in that case, I need to have more training on the track. I had not run on track for eleven years before the competition so I probably have a lot to develop in the technology. But the capacity I know is there, says Therese Johaug.More relaxed than last year
SVT meets the Norwegian during a training camp in Torsby, where the experienced cross-country skier is together with the rest of the Norwegian women's team. She describes the pre-season as relaxed compared to the previous year.
- The preseason last year was affected by the shutdown. It had been two years since I had competed and there were a lot of expectations for me. And so I lost two close friends. It was incredibly tough mentally. Suddenly you would go to your close friends' funerals. It affected me a lot.
"It triggers me to test other sports" Photo: Bildbyrån
Despite friends Vibeke Skofterud's and Ide Eide's passing, Therese Johaug won three individual World Cup golds in Seefeld last season. Now everything points to the fact that Norway's dominant will go towards another peak season, but according to the 31-year-old himself, the Swedish ladies will offer up a fight.
- Many Swedish girls have taken steps forward. It's a competition that triggers me to become even more focused. It is really fun that Sweden got both Frida and Ebba last year. And you have many good sprinters as well. It needs cross-country skiing.
Do you feel hunted?
- No, it just triggers me, it's a lot of fun."I can get even better"
And according to the invincible Norwegian, there are still things she can improve. Last winter Stina Nilsson proved that Johaug can be held back when Sweden won the gas-hugging sprint duel under the World Cup.
- I can get even better at shorter distances. Tracking capabilities and high-speed technology. I have realized that I will never be a sprinter, but more can be developed. As long as I find areas I can improve, then I am triggered to take further steps.