Anne Rikala

Date of Birth 20-Feb-1977
Height 170cm
Weight 67kg

Club Kangasalan Melojat

Hometown Jyväskylä/Kangasala

Age begun canoeing? 11years old

Favourite Training Venue?
Lakes in Jyväskylä and Kangasala.

Preferred Racing Distance? 500meters

Favourite Training Session?
High intensity sessions on water, ones with high lactate build-up, steadystate resistance training. Other than kayak I enjoy long distance cross-country skiing

Favourite Training camp Location?
In Finland Lahti and abroad Sevilla

Why do you enjoy canoeing so much?
The difficulty to combine speed, endurance, power and good technique makes it interesting and fun.

What is the current situation with Canoe Kayak in Finland?
What is the sprinting structure like?

All in all we are a small sport in Finland, with problems in finance and lack of a national systematic training system. It´s a group of athletes working with their personal coaches. In senior nationals there are about 15women and 25-30 men participating. To make kayak a bigger sport we'd need more club coaches+knowledge on coaching etc. There are over 100 000 lakes here; compared to that I think we're just too few.

What specific training do you do for 200m?
Lactic speed endurance sessions 20"-> and alactic short sprints about10" each, starts. During competition season 1-2 shortsprint sessions a week.

What does your typical day consist of?
Wake up at 7.30, first session kayak 9-11, lunch and rest/sleep or studying if lucky, second session kayak/gym/run etc 16-18, dinner, streching etc, again eating and then to bed.

How do you feel that 200m is developing on the international scene?
There are not a many people who specialize in 200m. If it was an olympic distance someday, this would propably change and some people would train just for the 200m, performance level would surely raise. Now in women its almost the same faces competing in 200 and 500meters

What current equipment are you using and how does this benefit your

Bracsa4max, now testing Bracsa7min. Nelo Vanquish M. Chose the 4max because felt comfortable with it in 500meters. For 200meters I'm not certain if it's the best choice; might be a bit too heavy for me to get the strokerate high enough without compromise in technic. Vanquish feels really comfortable as did the Scorpion easy to get the speed up and keep it steady, also the fittings inside suit me :) It's a good high quality boat

Do you have any other interests other than kayak?
Reading and arts, skiing, coaching and relaxing with friends and family. Eating loads of cheese.

How well are Finnish athletes funded?
The support we (the national team) get from our federation is minimal: all training camps at home and abroad, international competitions (excluding World Championships) we have to finance by ourselves. If you are in the best16/olympic distances you'll get a personal stipend from National Olympic Committee to cover part of the expences. If you're good enough to be among the best 8., you'll get a monthly salary from Ministry of Education, which is about 000euros/month. Rest of the money needed comes from the clubs, personal sponsors and whatever you can think of. So in other words we're far behind the big sports in Finland: athletics, skiing, ice hockey..

What is the selection policy like in Finland?
National selection regatta + results of last season to decide the team for world-cups and then for Worlds/Europeans selection is decided according
to international results in world-cups/other international regattas.

How long have you spent on the team?
First time in senior team was in 1996. 1998 and 2000 was out because of injury/operation of shoulders.

What is you favourite distance (K1-2-4, 200, 500, 1000)?
K-1 500m

Do you study and if so what are you studying?
Sport and Health Sciences Master degree in Physiology, Department of Sports Biology at the University of Jyväskylä. It's my fourth year now,
and there's probably 3 more to come ;)

How do you feel about your overall performance this year?
Did my best results so far this year, both 200m & 500m. Quite happy with that, but disappointed just missing the A-final in 500m

What do you wish to improve upon for next year?
Hope to improve all aspects to be able to get a place for Athens in K-1. More endurance for the last meters of the 500m and a more efficient technique is what I'll be specially working on.

What do you feel is the most important part of 200m racing?
The start, if you miss it, it's hard to have a good one..

Talk us through your k1 200 race at gainsville?
Gave everything in 500m B-final 3,5hours before the 200m final. Muscles were quite tired still in the warm up for the 200m, and really did not have the best possible start, just not much power left :) it was an ok race, was really concentraded, last 50m felt long

"Your website is a good idea! Always in sport I think its a big interest to see who is the fastest, and this is just what 200 meters is about in kayak. Hope there'll be research on the special physiological needs, equipment etc. for 200m, and discussion on your site"

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