OLYMPICS: Biathlete Fak Looking to Surprise After Tough Season

Ljubljana, 6 February - Jakov Fak, a bronze-medallist from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, is Slovenia's only serious medal candidate in the biathlon competitions in Sochi. Although struggling with illness for the most part of the season, he managed a second place at the January World Cup meet in Ruhpolding.

Slovenian biathlete Jakov Fak
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Fak, who finished fourth in the final World Cup standings last year while he is presently 21st, has been having recurring health problems and also had to seek medical attention two days after the Ruhpolding success over a stomach ailment.

"I think I'm healthy enough to compete now, but we will see the real state of affairs once I'm on the track," he said before departing for Sochi, while admitting that he was not at 100 percent.

He pointed out that he had missed a lot of training, which led him to give up setting any goals for the Olympics, while he has wishes.

"I above all wish to be healthy. I'm not expecting a lot, I just want to enjoy the competitions," said the 26-year-old, who usually excels at major events.

Fak won the bronze medal at the Vancouver Games while still competing for Croatia, before joining in 2010 the Slovenian team, with which he had been training for years.

As a member of the Slovenian team he has won three medals at World Championships, including gold in the 20 km individual event in Ruhpolding in 2012.

Slovenian team coach Jure Velepec said that the idea is to get Fak in full form by the first race and "if we manage that, we can be very optimistic".

He feels that Fak can get very close to a medal if he delivers a flawless performance, adding that to some extent this can also be claimed for two more Slovenian biathletes in Sochi, Klemen Bauer and Teja Gregorin.

© STA, 2014