Cautious Kanter wants to go slow in Olympic year
DOHA ESTONIAN Olympic discus gold medallist Gerd Kanter will be seeking to become the fourth man in 100 years to defend his title at the 2012 London Games later this year.
Shaking off early season rust and a little bit of extra fab at the Aspire Academy track before kick-starting his crucial season in the Samsung Diamond League on Friday, the 33-year-old giant said he would be happy to launch the allimportant season in Friday’s Samsung Diamond League, hurling the disk around 65m.
“So far, the preparations have been good. I’ve come here for my final preparations for the season over two and a half weeks. I’ve no injuries and I’d be very happy to open the season with 65m or 66m. If I get this throw and don’t win, I’d still be happy.” “I’m a little heaviour, not fat, at this stage. From here onwards, I’d put in more work. In the final 10 weeks later, I’ll be focusing on the technique or other aspects in order to be ready for the London Olympics,” said Kanter, credited with the third longest throw in history.
Kanter, who predicted that the winning throw in this year’s Olympics would be around 68.5m or 69.5m, is highly impressed with Aspire Academy.
“Last year, I had started my season from Doha. I had won in the Diamond League also. I’m very happy to be here. Aspire Academy has great facilities and I’ve already decided to keep coming to start my season in Doha for many more years to come.” His Olympic gold medal has made him a big hero back home. “The gold medal has brought positive changes for me. My country is very small with 1.3 million population.
Lots of people look up to me as a role model. It feels nice to be hero in your own country. I’m glad that a big number of young boys and kids are coming to training camps and I hope the tradition will continue and help us win some more Olympic medals.” The Estonian says there will be clash of top throwers at some stage during the Diamond League series before the Olympic Games but he won’t like to go to London as a favourite.
“It’ll be nice to surprise all and win the gold medal there. But the competition would be tough. (Robert) Harting, (Piotr) Malachowski and (Ehsan) Haddadi may be the strongest challengers.
“All the throwers have different preparations. I’m expecting good results in the Olympics. What I’m doing after the 2008 Beijing Olympics is different from what I’d had done before that. I’m not young any more. So my preparations are based on the changes that I’ve got now.
Still, my coach and I are confident about the London Games.” One of the main advantages Kanter has now is his long experience. “I’ve been throwing for 10 years now. I know well how to handle different pressure situations. Against younger athletes, it’d be a big advantage for me.
Besides, I’ll be doing the mental training as well later to get into a strong shape.” Reacting to 70m plus throw possibility in 2012 Olympics, he said: “At the big stage, only once it has been possible. The 70m is a target everybody wants to do. A combination of many things has to be good on that particular day if you want to cross the 70-metre mark.
In the 2005 world championship in Helsinki, twice Olympic champion Alekna had done to win the title.
Just like Lithuanian Virgilijus Alekna, Kanter says he is planning to stick around the scene for another four years. “The London Olympics won’t be my last Games. Alekna is already 40 and still he is in action. I think I can also do the same. I want to keep throwing until Rio (2016 Olympics).”