Bråthen confirms to Dagbladet that Lundby is back in the World Cup next weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the individual race for the women will be jumped in Hinterzarten in Germany.
The last time Lundby competed was at Lillehammer in December. Then she finished as number 19 and 21, and was not quite where she should be. Now she has taken further steps, according to the reports.
Lundby has been open that she has struggled with her weight. At most she gained 14 kilos, but now she is working her way back to top competition form.
Despite the problems, Bråthen makes a spectacular prediction:
– Maren can become the world’s best ski jumper again. She can definitely do that, he says to Dagbladet.
– I still have faith in myself, says Lundby.
It was after the World Cup gold on a large hill in Oberstdorf in 2021 that the problems seriously arose. Lundby lost control over the kilos and has always been open about this. In short, this can happen to athletes who have pushed the weight over several years.
The 28-year-old stood over last season and has always had a close dialogue with specialists at the Olympiatoppen.
Last November she competed again – in Wisla in Poland. But 16th and 24th place are far from where she has usually figured on the results lists. Now she has been through a good training period.
– She has had many OK training jumps, says Bråthen.
– It will be exciting to see if she manages to take this into the competitions. She matches both Silje Opseth and Anna Odine Strøm in training. And these have won several races this season.
The sporting director continues:
– The log shows that Maren takes more points in training now than she did in training before she took part last time in the World Cup. I will be surprised if she jumps like she does in training now and doesn’t make the top ten. Then there’s something I haven’t got with me. There are not many athletes who have put in more effort over time than Maren has. Here, too, she comes across as exceptional.
When Dagbladet spoke to Lundby some time ago, she was satisfied with the effort she has put in:
– My goal is Raw Air with races in Vikersund. But I hope I can participate and fight at the top in the World Cup as well, she says.
Eva Pinkelnig from Austria leads the World Cup. This is followed by Katharina Althaus from Germany and Anna Odine Strøm.
Lundby has no chance in the summary with a provisional 34th place. But now the season really starts.
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