08/06/2020   Sunday, June 14 Perseus Karlstrom tries to get Sweden's new national record on the 15.000m track walk


Perseus Karlstrom is attacking the Swedish 15.000m track walk record in a special time trial next Sunday 14thJune 2020 in his hometown of Eskilstuna.

Below a short interview with the athlete.



1.-  In January in Melbourne you obtained a good result (38:50.9). How you prepare for it ?

In the beginning of December after my unsuccessful 50km I took some time off and then started training again. As I had a small muscle problem, I just gradually got back to walking and didn't do any specific except building back to good mileage (+100km/week). I only did one shorter rep session a few days before the race.



2.- Your personal best in 10.000m track walk (38:03.95) is obtained in Finnkampen 2019. What is the spirit of that match ?


Finnkampen is a great country match between Sweden and Finland and maybe the most thrilling competition every year!

A great history with an unique team battle (3vs3) where both nations really wants to win makes it highly prestigious.

There is mostly sophisticated tactics involved in the fight and a lot of times the coaches gets upset! I specifically remember one year when I was overtaking a Finn and then slowing down to make my brother being able to sprint past on the outside the last lap to take a 1-2 (first and second). The Finnish coach was later furious, but when confronted about moves the Finns had made, he stopped the conversation!!



3.- In Europe, if we exclude Shirobokov (RUS) in 2019 there are five athletes under 1:20:00 in 20km (Stano, Mizinov, Linke, Garcia and You). What is your most difficult opponent ?


Tricky question. They are all very strong opponents, but I will reserve myself to answer this one to not reveal strength and weaknesses I see in these athletes.

Or on the other hand who I have the most respect for! 

What I can say is that I have beaten them all, but they have also all beaten me, and if I'm not at my very best facing any one of them...



4.- In world list 2019 there are six Japanese athletes in front of you in 20km. What do you think about Japan race walking movement ?


One thing to remember is that the biggest races in Japan, Kobe and Nomi, is always held in very good conditions where you are guaranteed to walk fast if you are in good shape, but times faster than 1:18:00 is still amazing performances!

Japan is doing a superb job in actively recruiting and letting the Japanese try the sport in the whole country, not only in a few places or a few regions. They are also very successful in having a good comradery in the national team, which unfortunately a lot of countries are struggling to achieve...

To have regular training camps with the best walkers in Japan (national selection) throughout the year is an excellent solution to keep athletes motivated. One of the big factors to athlete development also comes from the "training camp effect" and by having these regular camps, they can really drive the progression forward!



5.- Finally please tell us something about your next race on 15.000m track walk. When, where and your goal ?



The 15.000m on Sunday, 14th of June, which will be held in my city of Eskilstuna on my home track Ekängens Friidrottsarena, is a time-trial (TT) we (me and my coach) had planned to do because of this highly unusual season. To keep the motivation up and to have a goal to reach for, we decided to do a TT to see where I'm at after trying some new things, but also to continue practice racing during these times in lock down.

My goal for the race is to go after the Swedish 15.000m track record from the 15th of May 1992 held by the European 20.000m track record holder Stefan Johansson. The record stands at 58.52,9. A tough record, but if I know my body well enough, it should definitely be within my reach!


Follow the race on YouTube from link below ( click here )