Allas vår Anders Gustafsson är utsedd till månadens kanotist av Internationella kanotförbundet ICF, mycket stort grattis till dig Anders!!!
Nedan kan du läsa intervjun med Anders från ICF hemsida annars kan du också gå in på http://www.canoeicf.com/icf/WorldClassCanoeing/Athlete-of-the-Month/Current-Athlete-of-the-Month/Anders-Gustafsson.html
Anders Gustafsson - JUNE
Anders Gustafsson is undoubtedly one of canoeing?s most famous faces. Having been active in the canoeing scene since the mid 2000s, he has won several medals and awards and is the current ICF 2010 Canoe Sprint World Champion in the Men?s K1 500m distance. He recently started designing T-shirts, hoodies and hats and confessed that he loves to see other people wearing the clothes he has made!
Name: Anders Gustafsson
Date of Birth: 7th April 1979
Place of Birth: Jönköping, Sweden
Canoe Discipline(s): Canoe Sprint (Flatwater)
You were the overwhelming winner on the ICF Athlete of the Month Facebook Poll last weekend; why do you think you remain so popular with the canoeing enthusiasts?
I?m happy people voted for me, and I?d like to say thanks to those that show their support.
How did you get started in the sport of canoeing?
My mom wanted me to start sailing when I was little, but the spots in the sailing academy were full ? so she took me down to the canoe club and that?s how my sister and I started paddling.
Do you have any role models, people, athletes you admire, and why?
I find many different people inspirational and try and pick up and learn their tricks if I can. Since I was little I have tried to paddle like Knut Holman and I have had many other great sports role models both in my club and my National Team.
If you had not taken up canoeing, which sport would you be competing in?
Likely some other hard physical sport. Perhaps swimming I think I could have liked the 100m freestyle or ice hockey, my city has a good team.
If you could be anything or anybody you wanted (for a day) who would you chose?
I?d be an ASP-Pro Surfer and jump on a fast plane to Fiji or North Shore HI and just ride big waves all day.
Do you have any particular hobbies that you engage in when you are not canoeing?
I recently I started making my own T-shirts, hoodies and hats. I love when I see other people wearing the clothes I have made ? it?s so good to see!
Where is your favourite off season destination and why?
I like to see new places. Currently on my ?dream want to see? list is Tokyo, Fiji, and the Maldives. I also really like the Swedish archipelagos. But I enjoy being home in the off-season too, I spend a lot of time away during the year, so just to hang out at home is great.
One month into the season, how do you feel physically and mentally, and how would you rate your season so far?
Good racing in both Poznan and Racice with three medals. I did a personal best in the Men's K1 1000m in Racice 3:28. But unfortunately I picked up a cold just before Duisburg and couldn?t participate. I had a tough schedule with racing every weekend for six weeks straight in the beginning of this year. And that became a little too much. Now I?m recharging and preparing for European Championships.
You have been dominating this season in the K1 500m distance, but the K1 1000m has been more challenging, what do you attribute this challenge to?
It?s very close racing in both 500m and 1000m, and it?s little that differs from being on or off the podium. Everyone is looking for different answers in the World Cups to prepare for the Championships later in the summer and so far I?m happy with my racing.
You compete at a high level in both the K1 500m and 1000m distances, do you plan to focus on both distances this year or will you focus on one in hopes of qualifying for London 2012?
Sadly my focus has been forced to change towards the 1000m since I would like to do well in the Olympic Games. I?m still sad about the way the K1 500m was quickly taken off the Olympic Sport Program and I still can?t really understand why. At the moment I?m trying to improve my endurance and the way I race the 1000m because I had previously spent 7 years specialising on the K1 500m distance and mastering 100 seconds of work. So now changing to 1000m is a bit of a challenge for me; it?s a very hard event with lots of talented paddlers in the field. I know I can be competitive in the 1000m races from time to time but I need to be more consistent.
What are your memories of Beijing and how differently would you like to experience London?
I have great memories from Beijing and remember mostly my races but also the surroundings - that was incredible. I really liked the regatta course and loved the fair, flat and fast conditions. It was great to go to the pre-olympic games a year before to look at everything as a tourist and really have fun. At the time of the games we were only focusing on paddling. For London I don?t really know what to expect, I only hope to race at my best.
Do you have the same approach or strategy when racing in heats, as opposed to Semi-Finals and Finals, or do you use the same technique and have the same focus?
I?m usually more relaxed racing the heats but when it comes to semi-finals and finals I?m always fully focused.
When you begin your race, is the aim to get an early lead or to reach the highest speed in the shortest possible time?
Most times I find that if I focus too much on the others in my race I won?t have the best result. We sometimes joke about how we always: ?try to get a good start?. It?s obvious that you like to get out of the blocks as fast as possible and have a good transition to try to get an early advantage.
Describe the perfect weather conditions and course for a 500m race.
I love racing when there it is warm, sunny, no wind and the lake is like a mirror. But I like racing in most conditions as long as it?s fair across the whole course.
What do you think the sport of canoeing needs to make that leap to the ?next level??
I think it?s important to focus on getting great images and high quality TV productions from the races. You need to bring kayaking perfectly packaged to the public for the sport to further grow in popularity. I think we need to focus on strengthening our own trademark. I would like to see the return of the recently lost K4 races, and I think the World Cup could be more interesting as a ?cup? if it was possible to get points in all events, and possibly a World Cup 4 in July.
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