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Jan Habdas (photo by Ewa Skrzypiec)

The revelation of the Polish summer championships, Jan Habdas: “I’m capable of climbing to a higher level”

Jan Habdas has recently been performing very well in the FIS Cup. The 17-year old is slowly becoming a solid leader of the Polish back-up team, which was proven by his great performance in the Polish summer championships. He finished 6th and defeated vastly more experienced jumpers such as Kamil Stoch and Maciej Kot. “I think I pretty much have to be satisfied with my performance at the Polish championships,”  he said after the competition.

 

6th place at the Polish championships and a start in… the World Cup?

Jan Habdas has been in very solid shape since August. The summer season was very successful for the young ski jumper from Zarzecze. The 17-year-old achieved a couple of top-10 finishes in the FIS Cup. He also succeeded in jumping onto the podium at “third league” events twice. Habdas once again proved that he’s in good shape by finishing 6th in the individual competition during the Polish national championships in Zakopane. How does the athlete from Daniel Kwiatkowski’s team rate his performance in the nationals, and how did his jumps look during the training camp in Courchevel?

“I think I pretty much have to be satisfied with my performance at the Polish championships because my jumps were really good. Of course, I couldn’t avoid making mistakes and there are still many things that can be improved. I’m capable of climbing to a higher level. Overall, the competition was very solid and I hope I will be able to enter this winter season well. This performance foreshadows good things. My jumps in Courchevel had already looked really good and they were promising a good result at the Polish championships. I was able to learn a lot from the national team. I never really pay attention to the names on the start lists of the competitions, I always focus on my jumps, because if they are good, then so is the result. I compete with everyone the same way. It’s hard to say if we are fit to go against the best jumpers, but I think it’s only a matter of time before someone reaches that very high level,” he revealed.

Because of the rapidly improving results achieved by Jan Habdas in the FIS Cup, numerous fans and ski jumping experts expressed their wish to see the youngster jump in the World Cup. The member of the youth team regained the right to compete at the highest level in one of the competitions of the Summer Continental Cup held in Kuopio. Right after obtaining points in the “second league”, the 17-year-old assured that he was not thinking about competing in the World Cup. Did his good performance at the national championships make him change his mind? Would the jumper from the LKS Klimczok Bystra ski club like to test his skills in the “first league” competitions? “I’m not focusing on getting into the national team. I’m just focusing on good jumps, on keeping my jumps good, and working when things are bad. I’m not thinking about the World Cup or anything like that. Of course, it is my dream to compete there, but I am not focusing on the fact that I have to start there this year or anytime soon. What’s meant to be, will be,” the jumper said.

 

The youngsters gave the older generation a scare. How will they perform in the Junior World Championships in Zakopane?

The Junior World Championships will be held on the Średnia Krokiew in March of next year. Jan Habdas has already been doing phenomenal on the Bronisław Czech hill throughout the summer competitions of the LOTOS Cup, showcasing several excellent jumps. During the Summer Championships in Zakopane, he equaled his record of 106.5 meters, which he had set earlier in one of the domestic competitions. Will the modernized ski jumping hill in Zakopane be favorable for the young athlete during the junior championships? And does Habdas feel the desire to show his best jumps there – not only because its an event held in Poland, but also because he was unable to compete at the JWSC in Lahti? “I think all of the above will put a lot of pressure on me and I hope that I can maintain my good form just until the Junior World Championships and not have to worry so much. I said earlier that I was aiming for a top ten finish at the JWSC, but this season could indicate an even better result. That’s what I’m hoping for, too. I can’t really say anything right now because we will see what shape I will be in right before the competitions,” he guessed. 

The Junior World Championships in Zakopane will take place in just a few months, and the Polish youngsters are becoming a more solid, well-rounded team. The home junior championships will be the most important event of the season for Daniel Kwiatkowski’s youth team. Apart from Habdas, also Klemens Joniak and Szymon Zapotoczny achieved very good results during the Polish nationals. In addition, the 14-year-old Kacper Tomasiak managed to perform on a high level as well. Do the good jumps of his colleagues from the youth national team motivate Jan Habdas to work harder at training sessions, or do they put extra pressure on him? “I don’t feel any pressure from my colleagues. Competing in a group is important and it helps me to improve my jumps. In the team, we support each other and everyone is happy when one of us achieves some sort of success. It is hard to say which of my colleagues has the greatest potential, but each one of us is certainly equally ambitious and talented, and good jumps are just a matter of time,” Habdas declared.

 

Pressure during competitions and improved jumps

Jan Habdas has been able to maintain his good shape since the end of August, when he jumped into the top 10 of the FIS Cup for the first time in his career. Since then, the 17-year-old has managed to get into the top ten of the “third league” five more times, including two finishes on the podium. The youngster mentioned that he still had some reserves in his jumps. He saw the most room for improvement in the last phase of his jump. During the Polish nationals, you could see a visible change in Habdas’ silhouette in the air. It appeared that the young athlete was trying to “lay down” on his skis more than ever before. Was it precisely the improvement of the final phase of the jump that influenced his disposition? “The time I spent on improving my flight really paid off and brought great results, and it definitely had an impact on improving my form. My jumps are looking better and better and I’ve made progress since August, but there’s no such thing as a perfect jump so there’s still more to work on,” the youngster revealed.

The improved results achieved by the LKS Klimczok Bystra jumper are also accompanied by more and more pressure, both from the media and the fans. After his first podium in the FIS Cup, Habdas said that he puts a lot of unnecessary stress on himself and wants to perform at the best possible level all of the time. Did his successful performances in the “third league” make dealing with pressure easier for the 17-year-old athlete? “Luckily, at the Polish nationals, I didn’t place so much pressure on myself, but I knew what I was capable of and I wanted to show it. I don’t really read articles about myself, although the fact that I appear somewhere in the media can be perceptible at times,” concluded Jan Habdas, who is currently fourth in the overall FIS Cup standings.

 

 

Weronika Brodowska, Julia Piątkowska, own information
translation by Weronika Brodowska, Anna Libera

 

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