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Janka first competed in an international FIS race in December 2001, aged 15. In 2004 he began racing on the Europa Cup circuit. Then, in 2006, he won a bronze in the grand slalom at the Junior World Championships.
By finishing fourth overall in the 2006/2007 Europa Cup, Janka served notice that he was ready to start challenging for senior honours. His big breakthrough came in 2008 at the World Cup event at Lake Louise, when he gained a surprise second place in the downhill. He showed it was not a one-off by winning his first World Cup race, a giant slalom at Val d’Isère, two weeks later.
Back at Val d’Isère for the 2009 World Championships, Janka won gold in the giant slalom and bronze in the downhill. This high-profile tournament success marked him out as a favourite for medals at Vancouver 2010.
When Janka won three World Cup races – the super-combined, the downhill and giant slalom – on the same weekend in December 2009, he became the first skier to do so since the great Hermann Maier ten years earlier.