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Interview with Bettina Plank

02/05 2016


Karate Live brings you interview with WKF European Champion - Bettina Plank from Austria

2016 K1 Premier League - Salzburg (AUT) Female Kumite -50 Kg-2nd Place
2016 K1 Premier League - Dubai (UAE) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 1st Place
2016 K1 World Cup - Lasko (SLO) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2015 K1 Premier League - Okinawa (JPN) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 2nd Place
2015 K1 Premier League - Istanbul (TUR) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2015 50th EKF Senior Champ.(TUR) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 1st Place
2015 K1 Premier League - Almere (NED) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 1st Place
2014 K1 Premier League - Hanau (GER) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2014 49th European Senior Champ.(FIN) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 2nd Place
2014 K1 World Cup-Thermana/Lasko (SLO) Female Kumite -50 Kg- 1st Place
2014 K1 PL - Lotto Dutch Open Female Kumite -50 Kg-3rd Place
2013 K1 PL and Youth World Cup - Salzburg (AUT) Female Kumite -50 Kg- 1st Place
2013 K1 PL - Frankfurt / Hanau (GER) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 1st Place
2013 K1 Premier League - Istanbul (TUR) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2013 K1 Premier League - Jakarta (INA) Female Kumite -50 Kg- 1st Place
2013 K1 Tyumen 2013 (RUS) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2013 K1 Dordrecht 2013 (NED) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 1st Place
2013 40th EKF Junior&Cadet Karate Champ. 5th U21 (TUR) Kumite -53 kg - 2nd Place
2013 K1 Premier League Paris (FRA) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2012 K1 Premier League Salzburg (AUT) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 1st Place
2012 K1 Premier League Hanau (GER) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2012 Karate1 Premier League Jakarta (INA) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2011 46th European Karate Senior Championships (SUI) Female Kumite -50 Kg - 3rd Place
2010 37th EKF Junior&Cadet Karate Champ. 2nd Under 21 (TUR) Kumite Female -53 kg - 3rd Place
2009 6th World Junior&Cadet Karate Champ./ 1st Under 21year's Cup (MAR) World Championship
Junior Kumite Female -53 kg- 2nd Place

You won the K1 in Dubai ( April, 10, 2016). What was your way to the victory?
My coach and me, we had specific goals for the K1 in Dubai. The competition was an important step for our preparation to the European Championships in May in Montpellier. Before the K1 in Dubai we participated in different training camps. The last training camp before Dubai was in Ukraine/Lvov, which was organized by Anton Nikulin, national coach of Ukraine. Especially this training camp supported me to put me in the competition mode.

What is your biggest impression from Dubai?
Dubai is an amazing and very impressive city. It was my first visit of the United Arabian Emirates. The whole atmosphere of this country is very special. One of the biggest impressions of the city was the highest building of the world, the Burj Khalifa. Another special moment for me was to have the opportunity to fight in the finals of this big event. The competition was organized very professional and the feeling of fighting in a final is amazing.

Can you introduce your coach with whom you were preparing for K1?
My coach is Juan Luis Benitez Cardenes from Spain, Gran Canaria. Since three years I have been working together with him. He is very experienced and prepares me for all my competitions. His knowledge about tactics and the general karate concept is impressive. I have to thank him a lot for my development during the last years.

How does your training day look like?
Normal training day starts at 7:30 with an inspection of the army in the Olympic center in Linz. After this check, we have our first session from 8:00-9:30. The morning session contains physical, coordination, speed and technics exercises. In the afternoon I visit the university. Afterwards we have our second session of the day, which is held in the Club, "Karate-do Wels". In this session we focus on technics and specific competition situations, connected with tactical aspects.

In which club did you begin, can you remember your beginnings in karate?
I started at the age of 9 years in my home region in Vorarlberg. My first karate club where I started was in Götzis. From the beginning of the first session I was inspired about the sports karate. Especially my first sensei, Dragan Leiler, impressed me a lot for this sport. He was the person, who trained me until the age of 21 years. He taught me not only about Karate, also a lot of important things for my life and influenced my personality.

Did you always want to do kumite or kata also?
Until the age of 18 I practiced kata and kumite, also in the competitions. My first Sensei teached in the club both, for him it was important that his students have the knowledge of both. Always I liked to do both. At the age of 18 years I decidet to practice just kumite at the competition level. I admire a lot competitors, which are able do both. It is very difficult about the investment of training time. Also because kata is so different to kumite.

In which club do you train currently?
Since I have lived in the region Linz, because of my trainings and my Coach Juan Luis, I changed my main club from Karate club in Mäder to "Karate-Do Wels".

Is there any interesting kumite match, which you can not forget?
There are a lot of matches which I like to remember again. One of the most important match was the final at the European Championships 2015 in Istanbul against France, Alexandra Recchia. The emotions of such a victory are unforgettable and incredible!

The World Championships will be held in Autumn in your country. Are youlooking forward to this event and the home atmosphere?
It is very special for Austria that the World Championships of Karate will be held in Linz in October. I am convinced that this sport event will be amazing, the organization team has been working a lot to create an unforgettable event for the competitors. Of course I am looking forward to this event and the home atmosphere. I recognized that I am already little nervous thinking about the World Championships, but in a positive way. We try to think step by step. There are many things before Linz and we try to take these competitions to prepare us good to be in the best conditions for the World Championships.

You've travelled much round the world. What is your favorite place in the world or in Austria?
I am a very lucky person that I have the opportunity to see a lot of different countries and cultures all over the world cause of my sport. There exist so many beautiful places. But to be honest, my favorite place is in my home region in Vorarlberg. I love the mountains and I miss a lot of time to have my family around me.

What does karate mean to you?
Karate is not just a sport for me. It will be always one part of my life which teached me many things for my life.

What are your other interests?
I am studying "social work", in this area I would like to work after my sports career connected with karate. I love to be in the nature and in the mountains, spend time with my family and my friends.

Photos: "NIK Karate-WM 2016", Ewald Roth

Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best in the future. Karate Live

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