Austrian gold medalist well prepared

Posted on | July 8, 2011 | Category: Arena

The first ever Austrian Junior World Orienteering Champion Robert Merl is known for performing best when it really counts. Middle distance final was so far his best day at these Championships.

“Why I am doing well? I have done regular training since I was 13 years old and seriously since I was 15–16 years old”, Robert says.

The 20-year-old junior has been remarkably good in Poland. From a fourth place at the sprint, he climbed to a silver and also the first JWOC medal for Austria on the long distance and finally gold on the middle distance – shared with Dmitry Nakonechnyy and Topias Tiainen.

“To be the first from Austria is also very special. It’s great to win, but I don’t think I have really realised it yet.”

Robert has been orienteering for 10.5 years.

“My older brother Lukas started, he is three years older than me, and then I was into it. I have always done like my brother”, the winner says.

He is from Salzburg, but now living in Graz.

Robert says he was well prepared both physically and mentally, and that is why he manages to achieve great results in important competitions. “I do a lot of mental training and playing Catching Features, a computer orienteering game, is a part of that.”

Robert Merl and his team mate celebrating Austria’s first JWOC gold.
Photo: Erik Borg

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