Athlete of the Month – February 2013

VM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i SveitsVM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i SveitsVM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i Sveitsjerker lysell
Name: Jerker Lysell
Country: Sweden
Discipline: Foot orienteering
Career highlights:
European Orienteering Championships:
bronze in sprint 2012, World Cup overall: 5th in 2012, leader in 2013

Jerker Lysell, our Athlete of February, has been seen as a sprinter, but now it might be time to look again. He is leading the Orienteering World Cup after the three first races: sprint, middle, and middle chasing start.

“I have always considered myself as an all-rounder”, the Swede states.

He was number 1, 2, and 3 in the three World Cup races in New Zealand. The 23-year-old athlete has got a gap of 64 points to Fabian Hertner from Switzerland on the second place. Jerker got 240 points in total during the first three races.

“It feels good to be the leader. This gives me confidence for the upcoming events”, Jerker says.

Always good in the winter

The Orienteering World Cup kicked off in New Zealand on January 6. “It is always fun discovering new countries and new terrain types. In New Zealand they have places that are really cool like Flockhill on South Island. Being number one after the competitions made also the New Zealand training tour after the events more fun”, Jerker says.

– How did you manage to do so well?

“I am always in good shape in winter season, but I came to New Zealand with injuries and illness and didn’t know how it would go. The results showed that there was no need for worries.”

– How had you prepared to start the season with important races in January?

“I had not done anything special. I am always confident about my shape in winter because my long training season starts already in August. I have become a better runner, although my main focus has been to develop my orienteering technique.”

VM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i SveitsVM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i SveitsVM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i Sveitsjerker lysell
Jerker Lysell’s first international success came in sprint.
Photo: Erik Borg

Have to run in a pool

This winter Jerker injured his thigh, and had to train carefully because of that. However, in the warm weather in New Zealand he was able to run full speed.

Back at home he has to do alternative training again. Now he is running in a swimming pool for first time in his life.

“This time it’s another injury, probably the running in the hilly terrains caused an inflammation in my foot. In the beginning I couldn’t walk. Now is it better so I can jog on my heels, but it will take some time before I can run as normal.

A new generation

The start of World Cup was very blue and yellow. The runners from Sweden took nine of eighteen places among top three in the three races. “It’s a new generation coming up and I think many got better in running this year”, Jerker explains, and adds: “And of course: we were present in New Zealand. Some people were missing in the start list.”

– Which distances are you going for this year?

“My focus will probably be the sprint and middle.”

Only thing that counts

The Swede has just one big goal for every race: “For me it is always winning that counts. Nothing else matters. It is very difficult for me to believe that I would be happy with silver.”

Jerker grew up just outside the city Bollnäs. “My father is an orienteer so it was natural for me to run orienteering. Already when I was 10 years old my goal was to be the best one day. Those days I often competed with my twin brother Jesper.”

Now he lives in Norrköping. “Orienteering is a full time project for me, but I am studying a little mathematics to do something else too.”

“I have the will and motivation to become very good and maybe that’s the most important thing behind my success. I think that is the most important ingredient for an athlete.”

VM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i SveitsVM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i SveitsVM i orienteringSprintLørdag 14. juli 2012Lausanne i SveitsJerker lysell

The athletes’ questions

Staffan Tunis, our Athlete of January, asked Jerker: What is your favourite type of training?

“When I go to a camp in the middle of winter and run on a very nice map”, Jerker replies.

The next athlete will be ski orienteer Stanimir Belomazhev from Bulgaria. Jerker has this question for him: If you have to decide: What do you prefer: A Norwegian man takes the gold before you or a Swede – and why do you choose as you do?

You will hear Stanimir’s answer and more in the beginning of March.

Text and photos: Erik Borg


Previous Athletes of the Month


January 2013 Staffan Tunis (FIN)


January 2012 Alison Crocker (USA)
February 2012 Morihiro Horie (JPN)
March 2012 Polina Malchikova (RUS)
April 2012 Ionut Zinca (ROU)
May 2012 Tobias Breitschädel (AUT)
June 2012 Ivo Tišljar (CRO)
July 2012 Matthias Kyburz (SUI)
August 2012 Marika Hara (FIN)
September 2012 Lizzie Ingham (NZL)
October 2012 Tonis Erm (EST)
November 2012 Marit Wiksell (SWE)
December 2012 Tatiana Ryabkina (RUS)


February 2011 Olga Novikova (KAZ)
March 2011 Olli-Markus Taivainen (FIN)
April 2011 Emily Benham (GBR)
May 2011 Søren Saxtorph (DEN)
June 2011 Tove Alexandersson (SWE)
July 2011 Olav Lundanes (NOR)
August 2011 Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA)
September 2011 Erik Skovgaard Knudsen (DEN)
October 2011 Lauri Kontkanen (FIN)
November 2011 Annika Billstam (SWE)
December 2011 Anna Füzy (HUN)


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