“I think, especially in sports, the worst thing is to dwell on the past through the ages,” says Manuel Feller.
However, before the new ski season begins, we had to take another look at last winter.
The first half of the 2022/23 season in particular was more than good for Feller with three second places (2 in the slalom, 1 in the RTL). In the local race in Kitzbühel, the Tyrolean was thinking of beating Ganslernhang, but gave up.
A similar fate befell him at the World Championships in Courchevel/Meribel. In France, Wieler also led the slalom after the first round, but ultimately remained in seventh place without any medals.
Instead, Feller suffered a thigh injury. The ÖSV star fell while entering the World Cup slalom. This continued for several months.
“I found – in quotes – the joy of skating again after it wasn’t as much fun at the end of last season.”
“I carried the effects of the World Cup fall with me until July,” Feller says, looking back. “Then you shouldn’t be surprised that things didn’t go this way at the end of last season. That’s no excuse. I certainly could have done certain things better, but the high performance I gave is definitely no longer possible.”
“The most important thing is to remove the bad memories from my head.”
Feller’s body has now recovered. This is not something to take for granted when you know your years of suffering due to back problems.
“I feel physically fit,” says Feller with a smile. “Above all, I have made a good step in terms of fitness. I rarely get a little out of breath on the glacier as I did this year.”
“The pain is also limited. I have found – in quotes – the joy of skating again after it was not as much fun at the end of last season.”
Healing physical injuries is one thing, but recovering mentally from setbacks is another.
“Especially the last month and a half of last season after my fall at the World Championships was very difficult. I don’t have good memories of the last races. From this point of view, the most important thing was to enjoy skiing again, get rid of the bad memories to turn around and start the season.” Joyfully new.”
However, no major repair was necessary. “I know why. It was very difficult after the match against Brisbane in the World Cup.”
Kitzbühel topic has been closed
Even the thread as half-time leader in Kitzbühel is no longer unconsciously involved.
“After participating in the thread competition in Kitzbühel, I came in fourth place two days later in Schladming. I don’t think there is a better way to end a topic like this,” recalls Feller. “That’s part of being a slalom driver. I think everyone who has won in Schladming has already scored in the first five gates in Schladming. That’s just part of it. If you think about it until next season, you’re out of place.”
Feller’s prescription in such a situation: “Look ahead.”
Feller’s plan for Sölden: Do a better job than the last few years
That is why in the end we no longer look back, but forward, and that means Sölden. The new season begins there on October 29 with the giant slalom.
“I’m happy when it finally starts. As the saying goes: At some point you’ve practiced enough.”
Feller still has a score to settle with Solden. In seven starts so far at the Rettenbachferner circuit, the Tyrolean has only reached the finish line three times, but never in the top ten. Last year, she placed only 16th in the giant slalom.
“The plan is to do better this year than in recent years,” says Feller. “I really feel ready. Skiing is fun. Hopefully I can take that into the race.”
The slalom ball is not the primary goal
The 31-year-old doesn’t want to set the little crystal ball in slalom, which he struggled for for so long last winter, as his main goal this winter.
“The competition is so great, especially in slalom. The main goal is to be on the podium in every race. Then a lot of things have to fit together so you can hold the glass in your hand,” says Feller. “Overall, the big goal for me is to be competitive in every race.”
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