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Интервью

Petter Menning - interview special for CanoeSport.ru

Petter Menning - Russian Version

Medals

World Championships

1 place

2013 Duisburg

K-1 200 м

2 place

2014 Moscow

K-1 200 м

3 place

2015 Milan

K-1 200 м

European Championships

1 place

2013 Montemor-o-Velho

K-1 200 м

2 place

2015 Račice

K-1 200 м

European Games

2 place

2015 Baku

K-1 200 м

Petter Menning interview

1. How did you get into flatwater kayak sport? Since what age did you begin to paddle? Why have you chosen this sport? Did you try yourself in the other sports?

I went with a friend who was a kayaker and really liked it! I was 13 years old and I decided pretty early that I wanted to become a good kayaker. I wasn’t fast at all when I was young, I usually finished last or second to last but I had a lot of friends, enjoyed the training and felt like I had talent if I gave it some time. I tried a lot of different sports as a kid, soccer, ice bandy, judo, wrestling, ping pong, to mention a few. I have always enjoyed training, I just needed to find my sport!

2. How is your preparation for the Olympic Games going on? The national championship is over. What about the selection for the Olympic Games? What are your goals for this year?

My preparations for the Olympics are actually going better than expected! I have been able to train exactly as I want to and I see results from the hard work I out in. I have been selected to race in the Olympics by the Swedish Olympic Committee so I know for a fact that I will be on the start line in Rio! I have known that since November and it has been great just focusing on one goal, instead of some more trials or anything like that. I am going for the gold in Rio, I know there are a lot of great guys with the same goal but I am going to give it all I got! Last year, I managed to get a medal on every international race and it would be great to be able to do that again, but my main focus is the Olympics and that is the only competition that I will doing tapers before.

3. In your opinion what are the strongest teams in the world? What are their advantages?

I think there are a lot of strong teams out there and its hard to mention one thing that will make one team better than the others, everybody has their own way and you can take about 1000 different roads to success. Generally, I think that it is an advantage to train together with other strong athletes, I often do races and sprints with the Swedish k2 200 guys and that makes all of us go a little harder! I think success depends more on how much the individuals wants it than anything else.

4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are your favourite activities and hobbies? What do you do when you come home?

I always plan my training to have Saturday afternoon and Sunday off, the rest of the time is focus on training. I have two dogs, border terriers, that I like to take on hikes on the island where we live, also I try to spend a lot of time with my wife and my friends. Me and my friend Erik likes to play video games, right now we have been doing a lot of NHL and Borderland Pre Sequels! When I get home from training or from training camp, I usually take the dogs for a walk, because it’s a good way to get rid of some lactate or tiredness from the training. Lately, I have learned to cook Italian food so I am probably doing some pasta, risotto or vegetarian dish for dinner.

5. Tell us how do you get ready for the race? Do you feel nervous? How do you overcome anxiety and fear?

I always feel nervous before a race, it is necessary for me to feel that way to perform. The trick is to be at the right level of anxiety, I have been working with a mental coach to learn which level that is for me. Before a race, I always do the same warm up, drink some coffee and talk to my coach right before the race. I am trying to realx until I am in the boat, I imagine myself as a lion, waiting for the chase that starts when the gates go down and that is something that works for me. It is very important for me to have people around me that I can talk to in an hoenst way, sometimes you can be to overloaded and sometimes to underloaded before a race and my coach knows exactly what to say to get me in the Lionking-mode for racing!

6. What do you love most about canoeing? If you don’t like something – tell about it as well.

I love kayaking because it is very versatile! I love that you get to see a lot of great, and sometimes not so great, places around the world! It is the same thing about training, you wont win 200m just on speed, you need technique, speed endurance, lactate, endurance, strength, flexibility, great mental capacities to mention a few things! What I really don’t like is going out kayaking in Sweden when its like five degress, pouring rain and wind, which happened in June last year….

7. Do you think that your team is friendly and kayakers are close to each other? Is there a leader who motivates the others? Is the crew big? Can you enumerate all the people from the crew except the sportsmen? I mean the doctor, massage therapist еtс.

We are usually a pretty big team, both on camps and competitions and I don’t train with all the other Swedish athletes every day. I think we have a close 200m team, we all live in the same place is Sweden and see each other at the kayaking club even if we don’t have the same sessions sometimes. There is a friendly mood in the team and everybody is cheering on everybody during international competitions, which is great! I don’t get to see a lot of races, because k1 200 is always late during the weekends, but I try to keep myself updated! We have a national team coach, and sometimes one or two extras, but I think the best motivation is when the other athletes succeed, and strangely enough, even if they don’t I can feel motivated to paddle fast to help motivate the others!

The top athletes in the team are working closely together with the Swedish Olympic Team who provides me with a strength coach, massage- and physiotherapist, nutritionist, doctor and mental coach.

8. What are your favorite trainings on the water? Could you give an example? In your opinion is it very important for the kayaker to ski in the winter?

My favorite training is everything that is fast! I try to think that the qualities that I need to work on are my favorites to motivate myself a little bit, but it is hard to beat the feeling of being in great shape and paddle a sprint session. This week, my best session was a speed endurance one, I did 150m, rest one minute and 150m again, times 4-6 with long rest. I got some lactate but managed to keep the speed up during all intervals!

Skiing is a great endurance training, it is also good as a kind of rehab training for getting stronger shoulders. I have hade some problems with a shoulder in the past, which usually goes away if I do some skiing during the winter. I don’t think that it is necessary to ski, but it is hard to find another training form where you can go at a high pulse level for the same amount of time. I usually go on the skis at least one week every winter and really enjoy it!

9. Why have you become the sprinter? Did you try to manage long distances?

Before 200m was an Olympic event, I did 1000 and 500m as well. I was in the k4 500m at the U23 European Championships and finished fourth back in 2008. I was never as good at 500, 1000 or longer as I was at 200 so I was pretty happy when it became an Olympic event and I could do it a little bit more serious. I still do longer distances in crew boats, I have won k4 1000m, k2 and k4 500m at the National Championships as well as 200m and I think it is good to do a little bit of everything even as a sprinter, I used to do the 5K at national competitions just for the practice. I even did marathon back in the days, but that wasn’t my thing at all…

10. Do you need motivation to love sport and do your best? What is the best motivation for the young sportsmen? What/who motivates you? Wish something to the young kayakers!

Kayaking is something that I do every day, and most days I feel really motivated by my goals, but there are also days when I don’t feel like it at all. I think that is natural when you do it as much as me and sometimes you just need to accept that you wont feel motivated and just do the session anyway! The best motivation comes from big and small goals, I have big goals like winning the Olympics but also small ones, like beating my own personal best at the gym, get a little bit further on a session compared to last week or something good to eat after a tough session! I also get motivated by seeing younger kayakers looking up to me, asking me questions or wanting to take pictures and I hope I can motivate some of them in the same way. My childhood idol is Markus Oscarsson and Henrik Nilsson, who won the k2 1000m in Athens 2004, and when I saw that race, I decided to try to make it to the Olympics as well! Now, I am working together with Markus towards to Olympics, which I think is really cool!

Growing up, I was never the fastest, strongest or the best, but I always wanted to kayak. If I could say something to young kayakers it is that it doesn’t matter if you finish last, or fall in the water when you are 14 or even 17, you can still become everything you want to be! I started getting better at kayaking when I was over 20 years old and you got plenty of time to get there.

11. What is your main life-achievement for today?

My main live achievements so far has been winning the World Championship, the European Championship and I hope to add to that list during the summer. Besides kayaking, the best thing I ever done is to marry my wife! Also, I am pretty happy about my Masters degree in Business and Economics, which I finished in 2014.

My main goal right now is of course the Olympics, and continue to enjoy life the way I do!

12. Where are your friends from? Do you have friends from the other countries? You may say “Hello” to them! Take a chance!

Kayaking has been giving me a lot of friends from all over the world! This spring, I have been training a little bit with Maxime Beaumont and Seb Jouve from France, both great guys and amazing athletes!

13. Have you heard about CanoeSport? Wish something to us!

Of course I have heard about CanoeSport, and I love your work, keep it up! I love the clips and interviews with different athletes and their everyday training life and I wish to see even more of that!

Petter Menning special for CanoeSport.ru

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