Synnøve Solemdal during the WC sprint in Östersund (SWE) Dec 3. Photo: Nordic Focus

Synnøve Solemdal (NOR) has taken a step up this season and a major international breakthrough this weekend when she was fourth in the women’s sprint during the Biathlon World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE).

Heading into her fourth season with the Norwegian national team, Solemdal has returned to the tracks with more drive and determination than ever. At the season opener in Östersund last week, the 22-year-old delivered a taste of what lives within.

“This is what I’m living for. Breathing hard, working hard and putting it all out there and seeing how far I can go. This is my passion,” she said after the women’s sprint Saturday.

“After last season, I had to take action. I asked myself what I really wanted, where I was heading,” Solemdal said.

Then she went to work. She did a thorough analysis of everything in her life, from training and racing to everyday habits.

“I found that I can do everything a little bit better in almost every area. I’ve focused on technique and strength, as well as recovery and diet,” Solemdal explained.

The results speak for themselves. In Satuday’s sprint, Solemdal was only 19 seconds behind the winner Magdalena Neuner (GER).

“I’m on a roll now, and that makes it easy to be happy and enjoy everything,” said Solemdal, who is one of the fastest in the tracks.

Solemdal admits that she might have opened a little too hard, and that she still has plenty to work on at the range.

“I need to cool it a touch. It’s so easy to open too hard, but then you get it back on the final lap. And I know I got things to do in terms of technique and at the range. You’ve got to give it everything. I know that one day, I’ll be able to maintain all the way to the finish, and when I do, it will be really good,” Solemdal said with a giant grin.