Interview with the Hungarian sprint canoeist, the Olympic athlete and the world champion K1 1000 m.
When and where will be the next training camp?
I’m in Hungary at the moment and do my main training programs at home (Algyő) and in the cities nearby. I do the following workouts: running, swimming, CrossFit. My next training camp will be in Port Edward (South-Africa) from 23 February to 5 April.
How are you feeling now?
I’m very excited because of the Olympic Games. I feel that I’m in a very good shape and it gives me confidence so I am both mentally and physically strong.
Will you definitely go to the Olympics, or will you have a national selection?
This year I will have two national selection races in 1000 m and I can only participate in the Olympics if I win both of them. If in one of the two selection races I would come second, then there would be a third race as well.
Do you expect there will be a lot of pressure on you at the Olympics?
I already participated in the 2016 Summer Olympics (Rio), so I don't think that there will be a big pressure on me this year. I know what to expect before and during the Olympics. I am getting a little bit stronger every year. In 2019 I won the World championship and the Pre-Olympics with confidence, so I don't feel myself under high pressure. I keep my right form.
In your opinion what are the strongest teams in the world? What are their advantages?
In my opinion the strongest teams in the world are mostly in Hungary. These teams have great coaches, great athletes and very good training systems and programmes. Everybody trains a lot and tries to be among the best.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Reading is my favourite hobby. I love to read in my free time and I try to spend as much time as I can doing that. I like to read about sport nutrition, herbs, supplements. When I am at home I like watching movies as well.
What do you love most in canoe sprint?
Every time I go kayaking I can feel that my endurance, physical and mental strength is tested. Kayaking is mostly an outdoor activity and I love the fact that while I train or paddle, I can see and hear birds, deers and other animals from close distance.
Do you think that your team is friendly and kayakers are close to each other?
I think my team is friendly and everyone is doing their best to achieve success together.
Do you need motivation to love sport and do your best? What is the best motivation for the young sportsmen? Wish something to them!
I think everybody needs motivation in their lives. Someone without motivation can’t achieve great success. To love kayaking I don’t need much motivation, but to be the best, I need to push my limits every day and it is not easy.
I would like to be as quick as possible in kayak, because besides endurance speed is also a key factor in winning a race. I also like the feeling when I paddle in max speed.
I think the best motivation for young sportsmen is to imagine themselves as standing on top of the podium and listen their national anthem.
Does the Olympic gold motivates?
Yes, of course. My big dream is to win the gold medal at the Olympics in K1 1000 meters.
Do you have friends from the other countries? You may say “Hello” to them!
I don’t have many friends, but those I have are mostly in the «sport industry». Most of them live in Hungary, but I have some friends from the USA and Germany as well.
Balint Kopasz special for CanoeSport.