“London here I come!” Preparation for the Olympic season
FOCUS December sportsman of the month: triathlete Marek Jaskolka reports from his training camp in New Zealand
“The end of one season is the start of the next”; this piece of sporting wisdom is familiar to the FOCUS triathlete, Marek Jaskolka. Just two weeks after the final World Cup race in Auckland (NZL), his preparation for 2012 is in full swing. His goal could not be any clearer. “The new season is all about the Olympic Games in London. I’ll do my utmost to make sure that I am there and come away with a respectable result,” explains the Pole in the FOCUS jersey.
Jaskolka’s chances of pulling this off aren’t bad at all. A total of 55 athletes can qualify for the race of the year, and Jaskolka’s current Olympic ranking is 40. This takes care of the international criteria. However, the Polish Olympic Committee is additionally demanding a ranking of 36 for definite national nomination. To make sure of this, the triathlete will be training intensively over the coming four months. The 35-year old has found perfect training conditions in New Zealand, and began sending the first photos and impressions to FOCUS at the start of December.
“The first three weeks are all about settling in. The scope and intensity of my training have so far remained relatively low,” writes Jaskolka. Then again, the country does offer some absolutely spectacular terrain and a few unexpected training partners. “A few days ago I was in Abel Tasman National Park, where I completed my first ever swimming session with seals. I set out by kayak for a small island with the aim of swimming around the island, which is home to dozens of seals. I wonder what these adorable creatures were thinking when they spotted such a slow fish paddling past. ”
Jaskolka admired the dunes of Golden Bay whilst out running. “I felt as if I was in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Mile after mile of sand dunes extend across the northern tip of South Island. The golden sand is just fantastic,” he raves, his enthusiasm awakening our eagerness to join him on his outings. Training sessions on his FOCUS Cayo have taken him over some unbelievably spectacular routes and allowed him to enjoy watching the landscape unfold whilst his girlfriend and personal physiotherapist Ela follows along behind him in the van.