A Word with 2012 World Cup Champion, Peter Csonka

Peter Feature
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Name: Peter Csonka

Age: 28
Hometown: Bratislava, Slovakia
Sponsors: Adidas, Vajda, At, NSC, Kompava, ZET, Vrga, Retro, Sweet, Voltaic …
You’ve been on the podium for a few world’s now, do you think this is the one?
Well, I think I was working on it a lot so far, even during my injury with pecs muscle during the spring time, but you never know… Sometimes you just don’t have your day and than the game is over. Anyway I would definitely love to win as many other kayakers.
You have a reputation for being very focused on training specifically for freestyle, can you speak to your mindset towards freestyle kayaking?
I was never thinking about it. I heard from few people already that I am too focused and not smiling in the eddy. I do not know really what to say on it, when I am in my kayak I just don’t think about anything else.
That being said, what’s your preparation for this year’s worlds entailed? 
Hmm I think we started really hard this year. We were kayaking in Uganda,  did endurance trainings on nordic ski and lot of exercises in gyms. Than we went to France, than back home to our white water course. Unfortunately my pecs muscle could not handle the burden and it ripped off. I had to have break from kayaking for almost two months. I mean I did work out but I did not kayak at all during those two months. After that I started slowly and now I feel good to be back in a kayak again.
When it comes to competition week, what’s your mindset, how do you keep a clear head?
I think I am chilling out mostly, trying not to be in the centre of competition and I am trying to relax and don’t stress.
Do you think having so much experience competing at past World Championships gives you a leg up? 
There are few kayakers who really like competing and can do their best without stress. I am not that one. I had to learn how to compete and don’t mess up my rides. I build my own routine and I am doing it before each competition. It helps me to calm down. This is my sixth World Championships. I remember that before my first Worlds I was very exciting to go there and wasn’t expecting much. It was great opportunity to meet world class kayakers and paddle with them. Now there is lot of pressure on me
You jumped on the carbon boats pretty early on, do you think the difference between carbon and plastic is a game changer for freestyle?
Personally, I think it’s an advantage because of the weight and stiffness. But the biggest deal is that now I prevent most of the back injuries as when I paddled the plastic boats.
The lower back is really struggling with all this movements specially at Phoenics and Mc nasty. Other thing is that with plastic boat you get tired much faster what is a big disadvantage not only during the competition but during the training as well. When I sit back in plastic boat I feel really uncomfortable. I can feel how the plastic is moving and how much you are loosing.
When should we expect you in the states to start training on the NOC feature?
I am leaving at 6 th of August from Bratislava, so pretty soon:)
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