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Παρασκευή, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Interview with Nikolaos & Apostolos GKOUNTOULAS Part II

Interview with Nikolaos & Apostolos GKOUNTOULAS

Part II
23 September 2011
World Rowing: You have now raced at the European Rowing Championships. How much time off did you get after the World Rowing Championships before you had to start preparing for Plovdiv?
Nikolaos and Apostolis:
We had no time off. For us the European Championships was a serious goal of the season. So we came back straight for preparation.

WR: How did you try to bring yourself up again for the European Championships after “peaking” for the World Rowing Championships?
N & A:
It was really hard for us to be focused and motivated to prepare ourselves. We felt tired not only physically but also mentally, you know, sometimes it was so difficult to get it over.

WR: What was your aim for the European Championships?
N & A:
In every race our aim is to be very competitive and to be able to do our best in every race. To have the Italians (third at the World Rowing Championships), it was an extra challenge for us to do a fast race against them.

WR: You have raced Niccolo Mornati and Lorenzo Carboncini (ITA) a lot lately. Do you know each other off the water?
N & A:
Sure! They’re really great athletes and interesting personalities as well.

WR: Where can you be found the hour before a race?
N & A:
We try to stay calm before the race. We are used to walking shortly before the warm-up, just clear our minds while we are also trying to prepare our bodies.

WR: Do you have anything special that you take to regattas?
N & A:
Well, if you mean lucky charms or something like that, no, definitely not. But what we sure do take with us is the faith to race better every time.

WR: Where do you go after the European Championships and will you go straight back into training?
N & A:
We have three weeks off and our priority is to have some time with our best friends and family. If the weather remains nice we will have a short road trip with our motorbikes around nice beaches - like the summer holidays!

WR: When you look towards winter training, what do you think about?
N:
I really feel that this winter will be shorter because of my anxiety about the preparation for the Olympic Games. Undoubtedly this will be the most critical time of the year, but the final part of preparation is what really matters.

WR: Will you do any racing over winter?
N & A:
In October we have a special race in Turkey between the Greek and Turkish eights – a two-nation cup.

WR: If you weren’t rowing what do you think would be your main focus in life?
N:
Difficult question, I can only imagine myself as an athlete, but if I had to do something else I would like it to deal with outdoor activities or as a physical trainer.

WR: And the future… after London 2012?
N
: Unfortunately Greece is going through an economic crisis right now which can affect our lives, so I can’t imagine my future.

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