OBERSTDORF (Dagbladet): It all started during the Tour de Ski. Karlsson was seen as the big favorite in Therese Johaug’s absence. The Swedish favorite was also on the firing line, but the day before the alpine slope was to be forced, Karlsson had to break.
An injury she had sustained in the hotel room forced the 21-year-old to make a tough choice. A fall on her ass affected her entire right side and the tour was over.
She stood over the World Cup in Lahti to rehabilitate, but when she returned to Falun the following weekend, things were not as they should be.
Karlsson had to pull the emergency brake.
There was speculation in the media about overtraining, but she herself denied it. Still, she had to reduce the training load a good deal to find the World Cup form. Karlsson, who is willing to train, had to spend more time in peace.
Facing Swedish Aftonbladet she has described the period as that she “was at the bottom, and turned.”
And it really looks like she’s got it. In the World Cup so far, she has been Therese Johaug’s closest challenger with two silvers in the individual distance races.
Here in Oberstdorf, she is one big smile and spreads joy with her good mood. But to Dagbladet, she admits that the weeks ahead have been challenging.
– I was stressed, but at the same time I have had a very good support system around me. My coach has been so calm. He has led over the security and had faith in it all the time, says Karlsson and refers to his personal trainer Per Nilsson.
– Trained extremely little
They talk regularly over the phone, since Nilsson is at home in Sweden. Karlsson is brilliantly pleased that she has managed to turn around the bad times after the Tour de Ski.
– I have gone my own way, trained extremely little. And therefore it feels sickly good to succeed, she says to Dagbladet with a big smile under her face.
– Have you ever begun to doubt?
– No. I have believed in myself all the way, and that is why I perform as I do, she answers in cash.
To Aftonbladet, Karlsson points to the conversations with Nilsson before the championship as absolutely essential in the charge. Pulling the emergency brake seems to have been a good idea, and now Karlsson is Johaug’s big challenger on Saturday’s three mile. The last time she met Johaug on that distance, she won in Holmenkollen…