Jakov Fak (born 1 August 1987) is a biathlete born in Croatia and competing for Slovenia since 2010. As a member of the Croatian biathlon team, Fak won bronze medals at the 2009 World Championships and at the 2010 Winter Olympics where he was also the Croatian flag bearer at the opening ceremony. In 2010, Fak switched his citizenship and started competing for Slovenia. With the Slovenian team, Fak won four medals at the World Championships, including two gold, and a silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In addition, Fak has eight victories in the World Cup.
Jakov Fak during World Cup competitions in Östersund, Sweden in December 2017
|Born||1 August 1987|
Rijeka, Croatia, Yugoslavia
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|World Cup debut||8 December 2006|
|Teams||3 (2010, 2014, 2018)|
|Medals||2 (0 gold)|
|Teams||7 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)|
|Medals||5 (2 gold)|
|Updated on 15 February 2018.|
Fak began to compete in biathlon in 2001 under the trainer Robert Petrović. His first international biathlon tournament was the Junior World Championships in Ridnaun in 2002 where his best result was 64th place in the Sprint event. Fak improved his performance in 2008, eventually finishing in the top 10 at that year's Junior World Championships.
Since 2006, Fak has participated in the Biathlon World Cup. In his first race in the World Cup in Hochfilzen, Fak finished 107th. For a long time his best performance was 47th place which he reached in an Individual race in 2007 in Pokljuka. In 2007 he also participated in his first Biathlon World Championships, finishing 78th in the Sprint race and 93rd in the Individual.
The big breakthrough in Fak's career came in the 2008/09 season. In the opening race of the season Fak came in 47th, but in the Individual he earned his first World cup points with a 38th position finish. In the third stage of the World cup in Hochfilzen, Fak achieved a 16th-place finish.
2009 Biathlon World ChampionshipsEdit
Despite several respectable performances in the World Cup, Fak's performance at the Biathlon World Championships 2009 came as a huge surprise. In the opening sprint race Fak improved his career best performance by two more places by finishing 14th. However, he couldn't improve on that performance in the pursuit falling back to 25th place. The big surprise came in the 20 kilometres individual race where Fak won the bronze medal. A perfect score in the final range would have brought Fak a gold medal, however after one miss Fak had to battle very hard for at least some medal and in the end beat Simon Fourcade by less than a second to win the bronze. Thus Jakov Fak won Croatia their first-ever World Championship medal in biathlon.
2010 Winter OlympicsEdit
After his success in the World Championships, the expectations were high, but Fak's World Cup race performances in the 2009–10 season were substandard. He managed to win his first points in the World Cup only on 23 January 2010, with a 24th place in Antholz, and was by that time largely forgotten by the public. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Fak once again created a sensation by winning the bronze medal in the 10 km sprint.
Switch of CitizenshipEdit
In July 2010 it was announced in the Slovenian Press that Fak would represent Slovenia in international competition. On 19 November the switch to the Slovenian Biatlethe team was officially announced and Fak received his Slovenian passport on 24 November, enabling him to compete for Slovenia.
Career threatening injuryEdit
At the world cup races in the US in 2011 which were held in freezing temperatures Jakov Fak suffered 3rd degree frostbite to his trigger finger. It was feared his finger may have to be amputated which would certainly have ended his career as a biathlete. Jakov and his coaches decided to pull out of the Biathlon World Championships 2011 in Russia to focus on recovering from his injury and saving his finger.
2012 Biathlon World ChampionshipsEdit
After missing the 2011 World Championship due to the injury, Fak entered the 2012 World Championship as a member of Slovenian team. He won two medals, a silver in the mixed relay (together with Andreja Mali, Teja Gregorin and Klemen Bauer). Although Slovenia crossed the finish line as first, 8.2 seconds in front of Norway, the jury awarded bonus seconds for the Scandinavians because one target did not go down despite their last runner Ole Einar Bjørndalen hit it and therefore had to take an additional penalty loop, which put them ahead of Slovenia into the first place. A couple of days later, Fak won the gold medal at the 20 km individual, thus winning the first gold medal for Slovenia at World Championships.
2 medals (1 silver, 1 bronze)
|Event||Individual||Sprint||Pursuit||Mass start||Relay||Mixed relay|
- *The mixed relay was added as an event in 2014.
5 medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze)
|Event||Individual||Sprint||Pursuit||Mass start||Relay||Mixed relay|
|2013 Nové Město||20th||Bronze||6th||19th||13th||5th|
- *During Olympic seasons competitions are only held for those events not included in the Olympic program.
8 victories (1 In, 3 Sp, 2 Pu, 2 MS)
|6 March 2012||Ruhpolding||20 km individual||Biathlon World Championships|
(1 Sp, 1 Pu)
|8 December 2012||Hochfilzen||12.5 km pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|13 December 2012||Pokljuka||10 km sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|20 March 2014||Oslo Holmenkollen||10 km sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
(1 Sp, 1 Pu, 2 MS)
|7 February 2015||Nové Město||10 km sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|8 February 2015||Nové Město||12.5 km pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|15 March 2015||Kontiolahti||15 km mass start||Biathlon World Championships|
|22 March 2015||Khanty-Mansiysk||15 km mass start||Biathlon World Cup|
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Jakov Fak". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 4 December 2016.
- "Fak: Medalju sa SP-a trebao sam bolje naplatiti". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 21 January 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "Jakov Fak u Italiji osvojio prve bodove". vecernji.hr (in Croatian). 23 January 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- "Jakov Fak osvojio broncu na Olimpijskim igrama!". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 14 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "Croatian Biathlete Joins Team Slovenia".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "WM ohne Jakov Fak: Führen Erfrierungen zur Amputation?". xc-ski news (in German). 21 January 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- "Norway wins mixed relay gold at biathlon worlds". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Jakov Fak". IBU Datacenter. International Biathlon Union. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
Media related to Jakov Fak at Wikimedia Commons
- Jakov Fak at BiathlonWorld.com and BiathlonResults.com from IBU
- Croatian Biathlon Association (in Croatian)
- Fak: Moj životni san se ispunio već ove godine (in Croatian)
- Jakov Fak at Olympedia
- Jakov Fak at the Olympic Channel
- Jakov Fak at the International Olympic Committee
- Jakov Fak at the Croatian Olympic Committee (also available in Croatian)
| Flagbearer for Croatia