Interview With Gretta Taslakian - Lebanese Sprinter
Gretta Taslakian, the best sprinter Lebanon have ever had, and the first Lebanese woman to participate in 2 Olympic Games and also the first woman to break the 12seconds barrier in the 100m run! The one who broke the Arab 200m record, and is holding 12 Outdoor Lebanese Records and 3 Indoor National Records. She won many times, the Arab championships and Panarab games, Asian Games, West Asian Games and more... Gretta broke this year twice the 100m national record and 3 times the 60m indoor Record and once the 400m national record. Lately, she came back to Lebanon wit 4 medals, she won 1st place in 100m and 200m at the 1st edition of the West Asian Games where she broke for teh second time the 100m record, and took 2 silver in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
How and when did you get started with track and field? After a
few cross country races at school, my dad payed attention to my results
and luckily, he knew an athlete who use to train at Champville track,
talked to him and discussed a meeting with Doru, and the movie began :-)
What your typical daily life routine like? Depends on the timing
of the season, I quit university for 2 reasons in Lebanon, it's impossible to
focus on 2 majors sports and sudying at the same time, sports in Lebanon is a 2nd hand job where no one can believe in it, and the second
reason i hate it the major i was in which is radio/TV (media studies).
What about your family.. any support or help from them? There's no
family where a member of it is a successful athlete or any other thing
that we don't see any support from them, they back me up always wish the
best for me and give me a wonderful support specially my dad.
What is the most memorable run of your career? September 2002, the Arabic
youth games, when i won the 400m and broke the games record it was the
1st sign to focus more on my career.
What is the key of this
ultimate come back? and how did the injury time pass? To stop
thinking of the injury is the main ultimate come back... The injury
time was one of my ugliest times ever, like someone died, for me the pain
that i was in, beside the physical pain, the mental fight i was in was so
terrible and horrible, i thank God day and night for every single thing
that happened from the injury to my records or else i can't know how
much I'm in love in what i do and no injury nor anything else can stop
what i see the best for me.
2010 was maybe the best year in you career, how do you feel after reaching again the top level? I feel i
should be more careful and never surrender.
What is your goal
for the Asian games? Records or medals or both? The main goal is to
compete in it and I've reached it already, never expect i simply plan...
You broke the Lebanese national record in the 100m twice
this year.. what about the 200m run? Nothing is missed, all is studied
at the right time, the 100m record was easy to break it, 200 needs more
time and more preparation that's it.
Your thoughts before a
big race? To reach the finish line safe :-)
How many hours
you train per day? Never more than 2 hours that if we're in the off
season, during the season maximum 40 to 50 minutes.
Do you take
care of your nutrition? Genetics aren't always the key to be a good
athlete, minor things can help us reach high levels. Yes, surely i follow
a diet when it's necessary the diet i do help me stay fit and healthy.
If any one person or group has inspired or motivate you excel and
continue track, who is he/she and what has he/she done? Oussama Rahbani for supporting me and backing me when i wanted to stop running
for the financial problem i was suffering in. Roger Bejjani for
following up all my needs and supporting like no one did. Who
is your idol, model in track and field .. any athlete you look up to? No
ego, but honestly, no one in specific i adore flo jo (Florence Griffith-Joyner) for the
extraordinary records that she did but can't say i follow her steps too
far for that and too illegal ;)
How do you feel after participating in 2 Olympic games? are you looking up to London 2012? Us
as human beings in our nature after repeating the thing 2 and 3 times
we get use to it, 1st Olympic games was something out of this world for me, Beijing wasn't passionate as Athens, maybe because i was not well prepared
after my injuries. Hopefully London will be the happy ending. Tell us about your best experience in your track and field career? The
trips i get to do, the people i get to meet, the coaches i get to work
with, the competitions and the titles i get to take these are the best
experiences ever! Have you ever had thoughts to quit? It's too
difficult to take such a decision even though i felt it many times but
never in my life was able to do it.
How long do you intend to
compete at the top level? I long for as much time as i can, but i
can't be selfish, the day i see myself not being able to give the best
out of me, i stop.
Do you feel that your country provides
sufficient support for athletes? Not at all, as i mentioned already
sport in Lebanon is nothing but a 2nd or a 3rd hand thing to follow it
up, few people who are interested and the other has no idea what is
happening. Do you have any interest in coaching or other
involvement in sport after you stop competing? Sure! Any advise for young athlete venturing into track and field? Sad to
know that there's many young who love track and field and are not able to
enter a club or to be a part from the national team, and the more sad
to see the national team poor in athletes my advise can't be directed to
the young athletes because in my opinion, i don't see youngs interested in
what's called sport, but my advise is for the ministry of sports whom
should take us as role models and present us to these youngs and make
them believe that one day they can be like us by their support and