The World Cup Season is upon us and this year promises to be a quite interesting one. Last year we spoke about how the few non-European competitors wouldn’t be able to make it to the World Cup legs, but this year promises to be different as two American vaulters have planned their ways into cold Europe. Kristian Roberts, who is a longtime friend of VaultingNews, and Daniel Janes have both managed to qualify and Kristian was kind enough to share his plans with us:
1. The World Cup has been happening for a few years now, but usually, not many non-Europeans get invited to participate because of the ranking process, or sometimes they get qualify but choose not to go because of other reasons. How was the process of getting qualified? Was this something you had in your plans when you mapped out your season of 2017?
Yes, this was part of my plan at the beginning of the year, but I thought “this will be a long shot!”. I knew if I wanted to get close I had to do three CVIs plus Aachen, because the CVIs at home don’t give many points. So now Daniel Janes and I are qualified!
2. What are your plans for the World Cup Season? Where are you training and Which legs are you going to?
I’m flying straight to Madrid with Daniel and we’re competing on a horse from France, so not much training time! We’re doing Madrid and Paris. We applied to Salzburg but it was full. We will still do the CVI 3* there, however.
3. 2018 should be a pretty interesting year for you, with WEG’s going back to the USA. Have you planned your season already? How is the World Cup fitting into the whole plan?
Yes, my season and routines are already planned and done, the world cup was really an afterthought that I didn’t quite see coming! We had quite a bit of arranging practices and coaching to get to go but thanks to my coach Carolyn Bland we figured it out.
4. The World Cup format has a few differences from the CVI Format, from the type of venue to the lack of compulsories, do you think it is going to be different performing at a world cup style event?
I’m thrilled because it’s just freestyle, which I love, and the arenas look a bit like the WEG 2014, and that was fantastic!
5. The World Cup is also somewhat new for vaulting. And year after year we see a few improvements happening. How do you fit the World Cup into the grand scheme of vaulting events? Do you think it will become a priority in the vaulting calendar in the future?
While the World Cup is a major event, I don’t see it being a priority because of the World Championships being held every year now (juniors and seniors). I hope it will eventually have an effect on regular competitions, maybe by making technical programs and freestyles 1:20.
6. You mention that you thought that qualifying for the world cup would be hard, how do you think that the FEI could make the WC more accessible to athletes outside Europe?
I think the system works well the way it is, but our sport here needs to grow. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have a World Cup leg in the US!