After the 200m swim, an additional fencing round is performed in the program, followed by showjumping. “I am a good rider, I have good training opportunities with my sport horses,” said Justinau, who is 24 and one of the youngest in the business. “Everyone was unlucky when dragging the horse. But two years ago I was in Japan for the World Cup final, and we got the horses here now, they’ve been very good. I think riding can be very important.”
The finish is the combined competition of running and shooting, and it is a chase race, because the previous points turn into time and lags. In the Laser Race, an attempt was made to hit the mark five times at four firing stations. If you miss a shot you can try again. Justinau said he “generally prefers to enter the race as an underdog”, has nothing to lose and can simply call up his performance. “It’s better to be a favorite and expect more from him.”
Daniel is by his side as coach
The player from Lower Austria has a deserving athlete as a coach by his side at the Sixth Olympic Games Thomas Daniel. However, he first had to grow into this role. “When I slowly ended my career in 2016, Gustav asked me if I would do it. In fact I felt exhausted because I had no experience. We started it as a project,” Daniel said.
Many successful sports groups start with projects, in Austria a lot of emphasis should be placed on individuality. They have already achieved very good successes, for example Justinao was the vice world junior champion as well as the third European junior championship in 2018 and the sixth in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. “I would have been happy with such successes when I was young,” Daniel said. This year’s results will not reflect the level of performance. “He can provide better and higher quality competitions.”
But during the coronavirus pandemic, the Army athlete has lacked training partners, for example in fencing. Basically, due to competitive practice, one tries to participate in different tournaments or competitions. “In the fall and winter preparation phase, I always do this to check that I am testing my performance under competition conditions,” said Army athlete Justinau.
Radical change in 2024
As the head coach, Daniel sees himself as a coordinator among private coaches in various disciplines. It is important to create a balance with a focus on what is best for the athlete. The athlete describes the coach as “the mastermind.” As such, he will also make a plan on how best to prepare for the new formula.
“There have already been changes with the incorporation of running and shooting and the switch from air pistols to laser weapons. Now comes the biggest overhaul that enables you to accommodate the entire competition within 90 minutes,” said Daniel. “Sure, sport has to go with the times, everything has to become more attractive. It is a good step in the right direction.”
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