Interview with Kim Sung Jin: Double No.1
Collected by Close Yr E’s - June 2011
The turning point took place at the Paris Slalom World Cup (May 2011) during which Kim Sung Jin knocked out Luca Ulivieri during the 8th finals of the Speed Slalom Competition. World No.2 outing World No.1.
Kim Sung Jin is the new Speed Slalom Leader: he is the 7th No.1 Male at the WSSA Speed Slalom World Ranking. He took the place of the brand-new #1, Luca Ulivieri (Ita) who had taken the title from his team-mate Tiziano Ferrari (Ita) in March. After two years of Italian reign, the throne goes back to Asia.
Kim Sung Jin is the first Man to become simultaneously No.1 in both Speed and Freestyle. One of his greatest opponents, Guo Fang (Chn) is the only other man who managed to reach the tops of both World Rankings – though not at the same time. That Double No.1 case happened only once, in the Women’s category with Chloé Seyrès (Fra).
In this interview, KSJ confides how unexpected the title was, how happy and responsible it makes him feel, and how hard it is to cope with skating and studying at the same time…
You are the new World #1 in Speed Slalom! Did you train speed slalom especially with this aim in mind?
Actually, I was very surprised to get W.R No.1 place in Speed Category because I've never expected it! So, did I have this aim in mind? I should say "No". Actually, I didn’t have enough time to train even for Freestyle and I will not this year because I’m busy studying for the University. I think I got better results than what I expected just by luck, so I should keep trying harder and harder to fill the empty space, filled with luck, with my effort. Anyway, I'm so happy to be World No.1 and to have another goal about it in this Speed category :)
How do you train speed slalom? How many times per week? And what do you do for training speed?
Usually, I train Speed slalom less than 10 min whenever I go training. However, I obviously train more than 10 min, of course, when a main Speed competition is coming. I think I should start to concentrate on Speed slalom much more, just like Freestyle, because I have the responsibility of having W.R No.1 :)
I think the way to train Speed slalom is the same for everybody. "Keep running and repeating!"
When did you start speed slalom?
I started Speed slalom competitions in 2003. The first time I wanted to be faster was in 2006 because a Korean Speed slalomer taught me some tips for Speed slalom :)
You are the first man to become World #1 in both Freestyle and Speed at the same time in the WSSA History. What does it feel like?
Maybe you (Chloe) know better than me because you were the first woman to become World #1 in both freestyle and Speed at the same time in the WSSA History ;D
I'm very very happy but at the same time I have a heavy responsibility.
You already have a couple of speed slalom titles. Which one are you particularly proud of, and why?
I am proud of my winning at the Asian Championship in Taiwan last year. It's because of the winning from the tough 5 rounds in final. Let me explain you what happened during this final:
In final, I was against Guo Fang from China. In the 1st round, we had tie record so we had a 2nd round. In that 2nd round, I totally messed up and lost, so we had a 3rd round – probably the final round, I thought. In that 3rd round, both of us failed, and I gave up, because I thought we had only 3 rounds, and because Guo Fang had already won 1 round… but it was not true. They said we had to do a 4th round… which I won because he did mistakes. The situation was 1:1 (With 2 invalidity) at that time, and the 5th round should be the last one for real. In the final round, I was too nervous to do my best so I just slowed down a bit, but I won because he did many mistakes. And I became the Asian Speed Champion even though I gave up 1 time during the competition. I think I was very lucky :)
Which speed slalom skater do you particularly respect, and why?
Well, there are so many good Speed Slalom skaters, I don't know whom to choose. If I had to choose one, then it would be Yohan Fort (Fra). As you know, he is a "Speed Monster" and he holds the World Record : )
Do you find differences between the European and the Asian speed slalom techniques?
Maybe the main difference will be the starting position on the start line. Normally, Asians use Y line toward the cones [NB: body facing the line] whereas most of Europeans use 11 line towards the judges [NB: body facing the side].
What do you want to do next? What are your next challenges?
Slide? Just joking xDDDD I don't know yet because everything happened without warning. I'm also looking forward to seeing what my next challenges are going to be :)
Useful LinksWritten by Chloé Seyres
Photos: 66 Club