After a preparation conditioned by injuries, to be able to participate in the World Orienteering Championship, in his own country, was already a victory. But Jerker Lysell went further. Turning the weaknesses into strengths, he was the fastest among the fastest, reaching a glorious gold in the Sprint final. This winning is the main focus of an interview where the Swedish speaks also about himself, his dreams and ambitions.
I would start by asking you to introduce yourself.
Jerker Lysell (J. L.) - My name is Jerker Lysell and I was born in 1989 in Bollnäs, centre of Sweden. Right now I’m studying building engineering in Norrköping. Sports and exercise are my hobbies. I like doing crazy things and hate sitting still.
How did you meet Orienteering? Was it love at first sight?
J. L. - I was born into orienteering and I didn’t have much choice. My father dragged me out against my will… and sometimes with my will. I believe it’s a parent duty to do that sometimes!
In your way to the Elite was there a particular moment when you said to yourself: “That's it, Orienteering is my sport for life”?
J. L. - When I won O-Ringen 2000, at the age of 11, I decided to become the best. I believe on it since then. Although, I’ve been realizing that it’s much more difficult than I thought.
What are your most valuable skills?
J. L. - The will to succeed, never give up and get the maximum of my ability.
One year ago you were starting the preparation for the season and now we introduce you as the new World Champion of the Sprint distance. Could you tell me about the goals you set in the beginning of the season and the way you prepared the WOC in Strömstad?
J. L. - I always have had the goal of becoming a more all-round runner and this year, as many years, the goal was to run more than just running the sprint at World Champs. But on the New Year’s Eve I got a rupture in the calf. This was followed up by flu, a stomach surgery, tendinitis and further problems with my calves. This made my focus on taking further steps in my development came to a stop and I had to focus on becoming whole again. The summer became a race against the watch, and I trained most of the time in the forest because of my calves. One month before the World Championships, I finally could train for the Sprint.
Was running home an extra motivation?
J. L. - I didn’t think I would be able to participate at the World Championships until I stood on the starting line, so I never thought that much about it. Even more that would be sad if I couldn’t start since you probably only get one or two chances to experience it in your career.
Would you tell me about your golden race?
J. L. - When I crossed the finish line I thought that if I didn’t win that day I would never win. The feeling was that my race was perfect. I had got a perfect execution of the race and physically I felt strong. But I knew I started earlier than the ”best” and that I could be caught any second. I actually thought that I would be beaten by Kyburz when the speaker said he had contact just before the finish, but my last part was quite fast so I got away this time!
Before the race, I was focused on my task and the plan was to take one control at a time and run as fast as I could, but still not make any hasty choices. I didn’t think too much of the crowd but it was very nice with all those Swedish flags around the course.
Before the WOC gold in Strömstad, you were able to get the silver medal in the European Championships 2014, in Portugal, and the bronze in the World Championships 2015, in the United Kingdom. Three great achievements, all of them in the Sprint distance. At the age of 27, is now the right time to start winning also in the forest disciplines?
J. L. - My goal is, as I said before, improving also in the forest distances but the injuries in the previous years made it more difficult. But after this year's success in the sprint, I’ll put aside my thoughts on the Sprint and I’ll focus on the forest. May I just be injury-free, it will certainly go well.
Did you already start preparing 2017? Would you like to share your goals for the next season?
J. L. - I’m always preparing the future and the goal is to run well in forest.
What are your plans for the winter season? Are we going to see you in Portugal?
J. L. - My winter training has started in the worst possible way. I’m again injured and it's the same problem as before with the calf. But my goal is to participate at the Portugal O’ Meeting this year.
Before finishing the Interview, I still have to ask you a comment about the subject of all talks last days: Thierry Gueorgiou as the new coach of the Swedish Team!
J. L. - It will be very interesting to see how he will contribute and I think he will do a great job.