Konstantin Näser has won the junior European championships in August 2016. Neither we nor he expected that when the juniors started their championship. The juniors are always good for surprises, and that makes their competitions so exciting.
The Male juniors were all on nearly the same level this year, so all the top competitors were positioned very close to one another. Konstantin’s first compulsory round was the fourth best with at least four vaulters very close behind him. His exercises were solid but the horse Cyrano wasn’t that happy with the competition…*
Curiously enough three different vaulters decided the four rounds during the championships for themselves and, although he took home the golden medal, Konstantin didn’t win an individual round: Philip Clement (AUT) won the first compulsories, Ludo Campion (FRA) dominated the first freestyle as well as the second compulsories round and Leon Hüsgen (GER) finished the second freestyle round ahead of everyone else. But in the end it was Konstantin Näser from PSV Roseck in Unterjesingen, Germany, who earned the golden medal with 0,02 points ahead of his competitors: A prize for his consistency throughout the competition!
Second compulsory at 1:42:06 :
Konstantin, who turned eighteen this summer, has been vaulting for nine years now. He started as a squad vaulter. Since 2012 he also competes individually and his first CVI was in 2015. All in all, Konstantin Näser took part in three CVIs, all of them with lunger Doris Marquat and horse Cyrano. They seem to be the perfect team since they finished all competitions on the top of the podium.
What now? Konstantin Näser: “My plans are not set for next year because my lunger, Doris Marquat, wants to tone things down and that would require her to stop lunging the individuals. Cyrano has definitely earned his retirement. He won’t be doing vaulting next year anymore.”
It is incredible what Konstantin has achieved in these two years: In the spring of 2015 he went out to a J* competition to finish with 6.917. “The J* start was the right decision. It helped me to gain experience for the J** category.” he sums up.
But what impresses is his development: In early 2016 he was still on the same level with 6.9 at both CVIs. And then at the championship, he went up to 7.479 points. He must have put so much effort into his training this season. Admirable.
“Until the last selection trial, we followed our normal schedule with horse, barrel and gym training. It was complemented by clinics with the national coaches which helped me to improve. At the beginning of the year, the aim was to come as far as possible. To have a nice last junior year. What we didn’t expect was the European champion nomination.” tells us Konstantin.
Five vaulters took part in the German selection trial (Prize of the Best). Konstantin was one of the best which brought him the honor to represent Germany in Le Mans. What does he think of the male competition these days?
“In the field of the junior males this year there were more competitors in the big national events, such as the Prize of the Best or the German junior championship, but still much less than in the field of the females. Nonetheless, I would say, our national competition is one of the stronger this year.”
After the selection trials and before the German championship (at which Konstantin finished in sixth place, this wasn’t his best moment) the decision was made that the team from PSV Roseck would go to Le Mans. “My training changed after the nomination. We added one additional training day each week and I was at three more clinics of which two were organized by the national association.” It paid off! Congratulations.
Final freestyle at 3:43 :
* I wanted to take a look at the scores from the Junior Europeans to enrich this interview, but unfortunately, they are no longer online. I did several hours of research looking for them, but can’t seem to find them. The only picture still available of the first round junior male compulsories is so blurry that I can’t guarantee for my eyes. I will continue with the interview without detailed scores.