1st up we look at is bronze medallist from the World Cup #4 this year Annika Schleu (GER):What would it mean for you to become World Champion for the 1st time in Argentina? It would be a dream comes true, I think every athlete wants to become a world champion and it is my last international junior competition, so I think it would be an unbelievable end for my junior career. I missed a medal in the junior Europeans this year and came 5th, so this is my second chance and I really want to do it better this time.
What discipline are you focusing on most in your preparation?
Of course I need to do a solid training in all five disciplines to have a chance for a medal, because the top 10 juniors are all really strong. At the moment my weakest discipline is the fencing so I try to focus on my fencing as much as possible.
If you win the Junior World Championships, what discipline will be key?
I know if I have a good fence in the beginning of the competition everything is possible. I have a good, solid swim and I know I’m strong in the combined event. Of course I need some luck to draw a good horse, but the key discipline will be the fencing in the morning.
Who do you think your main threats in winning will be?
Besides the fact that you will need perfect results in all five disciplines to win the competition, I have to face high-class pentathletes that are top ranked on the senior level and already qualified for the 2012 Olympics.
What do you think about competing in a new Pentathlon area, Argentina?
It will be really interesting; I’m excited about this country. And I hope that they will organize a good competition even if it is there first time.
What benefits competing on the senior tour will you use to your advantage here?
I got a lot experience competing on the senior level. Especially in the riding and fencing every competition brings me a step forward. For my self-confidence it is good to know that I can get good results in all this high-class competitions, so I know I will have good chances in the junior’s field.
What’s the main difference from competing in Seniors compared to Juniors?
In the seniors I’m not as nervous, I’m just one athlete among others, the focus in Germany is mostly on Lena. In the junior field I know that the expectations on me are higher but I have to face most of the same strong opponents as Freyja, Margaux, Sarolta etc. to win a medal.
What importance is the Junior World Championships in the lead up for your push to Olympic Selection?
The Junior World Championships are more important for my self-confidence than for the selection process itself. With a good performance I would feel better prepared for the upcoming Olympic year.