20 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


Luukas SAHA (FIN) has spent months trying to forget about the race to qualify for the Olympics and put setbacks behind him. In the back of his mind was his 5th place at the Grand Slam in Paris 2022: “On the one hand, I knew that I had what it takes to make the podium and win. But on the other hand, there was that disappointment after Paris when I was so close. And it didn’t work out.” He eventually made his breakthrough 10 days ago – the turnaround came with a 3rd place at the Grand Slam in Astana. On Monday he was able to hang World Championship bronze around his neck. And now he has also secured his Olympic ticket!
“It’s an indescribable feeling. My family believed in me, my coach kept encouraging me. And I knew I could do it. But it took such a long time, about three years, before I was finally able to realise my dream of winning a medal. Now it’s happened twice within just a few days,” beamed Luukas Saha, shaking his head in disbelief several times.
He has only known the feeling of having a medal hanging around his neck and standing on the podium of the World Tour since 10 May. “I had to digest my 5th place in Paris in 2022 for a long time. When you’re so close to a medal, but then lose the bronze medal match and go home unrewarded. It hurts.”

It finally worked out at the Grand Slam in Astana 10 days ago. And of course, thoughts of Paris 2024 quickly came to mind again. Could it possibly work out after all – with a ticket for the Olympic Games?
“Rok Draksic, my coach, always told me not to worry about the future. Instead, I should concentrate on the World Championships and train,” says the 25-year-old Finn. It was also Rok Draksic who taught the Finn self-confidence and the winning mentality. “He makes a huge difference. He came and knew exactly what it takes to be successful internationally and win medals. And slowly the successes and the first titles came to our team.
Luukas has been trying his hand on the World Tour since 2021. For more than three years, a fifth place at the Grand Slam in Paris 2022 was his biggest international success. “My friends and family have always encouraged me and told me that they believe in me. It’s great that it’s finally worked out now.”
He flies back to Helsinki on Tuesday morning. What happens next remains to be seen. “Until now, I’ve always pushed the topic of Paris away from me, but I’m sure Rok has a plan for me. He has a plan for everything!”

Author: EJU Media