Jari Aittakari

Name Jari Aittakari
Date of Birth 25/03/85
Height 182cm
Weight 79kg
Canoe Club Ahlaisten Urheilijat
Home At the moment Vuosaari Helsinki
Age begun canoeing? 12
Coach Susanne Gunnarsson

What Made you decide flatwater was the sport you wanted to do?
As a youngster i had many sports as a hobby and somehow i ended up going to a kayaking school kept by my first kayak club, and the campleaders asked me to participate in to a competition kept a week after the camp, it was by the way a 200 meter race and i won it.
After that there were no questions as to which of my sports will be the number one.

Why do you enjoy canoeing so much?
I like canoeing because it's so versatile, there are different racing distances, and you cannot be good by just paddling all the time, you have to train
many other things too.

Preferred Racing Distance?
I like the most K-1 500 meter but i am better in 200 meter and i also like to paddle K-2 all distances.

Favourite Training Session?
I enjoy when i go for a Long cross-country skiing session or the max gym.
On the water the sessions i like the most consist of a lot of max speed efforts and working with high rates.

Favourite Training Camp Location
In Finland Ruovesi , and abroad Tolna Hungary, a small place
good for just training.

What is your most memorable moment in racing?
My first gold medal in Finnish Championships as a kid.

Do you have any pre race ritual ..which brings you luck?
Not any ritual but i think i do preparing every time the same way. But one ritual I have, I always use a white cap backwards on my head when I race... without exception.

Do you study and if so what are you studying?
I have a place at the University of technics in Helsinki and there my main subject will be at first wood processing.

What do you have planned for the future??
I will start my military service in Sport academy troops in autumn. It will last one year, when i will get a time to totally concentrate on sports.
And i will use that opportunity as well as i could. And of course paddle next summer a lot faster than this year!

How do you feel about your overall performance last year?
I was very disappointed for this season, i expected to break my records a lot more clearly than i did.
And i didn't qualify into Under 23 years old EC races as I also expected to do.

What do you wish to improve upon for next year?
Almost everything i think. I have been discussing a lot with my coach what to improve. Firstly improve the basic and gain more strength.

Equipment used?
I Paddle at the moment with Plastex Ares 390 but i may soon update into
something else. As a paddle i use Braca 6 with max blades
And as an technical equipments i have Garmin Forerunner and Polar
heart rate monitor.

What is the current situation with Kayak in Finland?
Our situation has been quite bad since Mikko Kolehmainen was on the top.
After that we have had many talented young paddlers and it's sad that
there aren't so many who have made it to the top or near it after that.
But now our athletes in Athens showed that they are getting on the top again.
And i think that we are going to improve a lot during the way to the next Olympic games.

What do you feel is the most important part of 200m racing?
The start is the most important, after getting good start it's easier to concentrate to push all, knowing you are the first.

Second place is the first looser!

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