Pursuit of Perfection: Javier Gomes Noya
The Spanish triathlete just missed out on a medal in Beijing, finishing in fourth place. He has his eyes firmly set on gold in Hyde Park next year
How is your training going ahead of London 2012?
Training is going really well. Right now, the most important thing is qualifying for London 2012, so I need some good races at the World Championship series. There’s no doubt that I am thinking about the 2012 Olympic Games at every training session!
What is your favourite training session?
It’s difficult to pick just one; I love training. But I particularly like fast workouts, for example my track sessions where I might do something like 8 x 1,000m with two-minute recoveries. I’d run these at 2:40-2:42 mins pace. It’s tough and it hurts, but it’s great training.
What are you most looking forward to about the 2012 Games?
There’s one thing that keeps driving me forward: the gold medal. There are so many things which make the Olympic Games unique and interesting, but what I want – and what I didn’t get in Beijing – is that gold medal.
What do you think about London as a city?
London is one of my favourite cities in Europe. I like the mix of cultures you find just walking through the streets, and I really like British people. Of course, Hyde Park where the Olympic triathlon will be held is one of the best places we can race. It’s beautiful – I love it.
Who do you see as your main rivals for the gold medal in London?
There are so many! The sport is very strong at the moment with a great number of fantastic athletes. But If I have to pick anyone, I’d say the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan. They are both very talented and, of course, they’ll be racing on home soil which will be extra motivation for them. Or perhaps it will be extra pressure; who knows! But I can’t discount guys like Jan Frodeno, Brad Kahlefeldt, Steffen Justus and Bevan Docherty. There are a bunch of names who have a really high chance of getting a medal.
How did you get started in triathlons?
My first sport was swimming and I swam for my hometown’s club. My first triathlon was in 1998, when I was 15. I just wanted to try something new because I already swam, and liked cycling and running. That first race was an Olympic distance one and it was a great experience, even though it was tough as I hadn’t trained enough!
Do you have a favourite memory from watching the Olympic Games as a child? Who are your Olympic heroes?
I remember that amazing sprint finish between Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie in the 10,000m final in 2000 in Sydney. That was really exciting. As far as heroes go, because my first sport was swimming, my Olympic heroes have always been Mark Spitz – a great champion – and Alexander Popov. I remember Popov's performances in Atlanta in 1996, which were a huge inspiration for me. I also admire Gebrselassie; the way he runs is really beautiful.
What are your own Olympic highlights?
Although I wasn’t happy with my fourth place in Beijing, I have lots of great memories of the Beijing Games: the Olympic Village, meeting great athletes and spending so much time talking with them. I also had a lot of fun watching other events, like track and field, and basketball. The final between the USA and Spain was very exciting!
How do you unwind outside training?
I love music, particularly rock and blues music, and I play guitar. I enjoy travelling and, when I get the chance, I love to meet up with friends and relax.
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