Rising Star - January 2013
A fast five minutes with Azerbaijan’s Aleksandar Aleksandrov
The rowing talent of Aleksandar Aleksandrov was noticed early on so that at 15 years old he was already on his home country of Bulgaria’s junior national team. Two years later Aleksandar was the junior World Champion in the men’s single sculls and since then he has not looked back, picking up accolades even at senior level. Aleksandar is now 22 years old, rowing for Azerbaijan and the fifth fastest single sculler in the world from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
From his winter training camp in the mountains, Aleksandrov shares a very solid five minutes with World Rowing.
My sporting hero is ... Michael Phelps and rowers Mahe Drysdale, Olaf Tufte, Alan Campbell and Ivo Yanakyev.
I row because ... I was 14 years old when my coach Juliana Stoeva came to my school and suggested that I try rowing. I liked basketball and she found me at my school’s basketball court. I really fell in love with rowing from my first session on the water. The water and boat enchanted me from the first minute. I have been rowing for about nine years since that first session.
My goal in rowing is... an Olympic medal – maybe gold.
I'm most relaxed when ... I have done everything well, especially after the successful race! I am relaxed when I listening my favorite music or I am somewhere with my team mates.
My least favourite training session is... I do not like skiing, for me – it is better to run 20km instead of ski training, but my coach pushes me to ski.
My toughest ever race... the final race at the Olympic Games in London. I wanted to do my best, to show everybody that I was there, not by chance, but because I worked very hard to be there. I wanted to use that race to thank all the people who helped my dream become a reality: the president of Azerbaijan Rowing Federation, people who work in our federation, Ministry of Sports and National Olympic Committee, all the staff of our Olympic Base in Mingechevir, our doctors and masseurs – all the people, who work for us – but who are always in the shadow of the athletes.
I'm motivated by... my coach. He likes to make me angry before a race and this motivates me :-) Also, every loss [motivates me] - I don’t like to lose! And when I win that makes all the people who help me to win happy – that is the biggest stimulant for me.
A typical day is ... I wake up at 7am. My first training session is on the water or a 10km jog, then breakfast, one hour rest, then my second session – rowing. Then lunch and rest until 4pm. My next training starts at 4.30pm and ends at 8pm. During the training camp we work sometimes more than eight hour, but between the training camps we have lighter training and free time to meet our friends and girlfriends.
I get annoyed when ... people act arrogantly especially when they have nothing to be proud of. I get bored when there are no girls around us :-)
My favourite book is ... It was “The Three Musketeers” book from my childhood. Now I like to watch movies.
My favourite website is ... YouTube. I can find music, sports, movies – everything I want!
2k or 5k on the ergo? I prefer 6km distance.