10 Jan 2020
Gianluca Pozzatti: studying for Tokyo.
Born in 1993, Gianluca Pozzatti is one of the most prominent Italian triathletes for the sprint and Olympic distances. In 2017 he joined the Vision-sponsored triathlon team, Team 707, achieving 2 Mixed Team Relay National Championships and the 2019 Triathlon Sprint Italian Championship.
His adventures in triathlon started many years ago, when he was a child. Year by year he started to practice it more seriously, investing an increasing amount of time as well as more energy, trying to overcome his limits each day. His training philosophy has been that “the more time and effort you put into training, the bigger the return you get on race day.”
Currently, Gianluca has been dividing his time among triathlon racing and studying at University for Civil Engineering. This is just a culmination leading up to his big dream: the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
We did a special interview with him, associating every single moment of a triathlon race to a single moment of his career.
START: how you started triathlon?
I started at a very young age, when I competed in the “puppies” competitions. They were very often combined with the big events, where my dad competed. For a long period of my childhood, I skated on ice and then I returned to triathlon, progressively increasing my commitment, until it became my job.
SWIMMING: the approach to triathlon race.
My approach to the races has certainly changed during the seasons, having almost 50 participations in ITU races (the world triathlon circuit) under my belt. I became much more experienced in approaching the race and my ability to manage tactics during the races has also increased during the three sections. Triathlon races are always in continuous evolution and you have to be able to understand what is happening around you as a racer and to be able to take all the opportunities. It is important to evaluate: position during swimming, in which part of the group to stay during the cycling section, whether to insist to push in a breakaway or not, on what pace to set the running section, etc...
All these decisions must be taken within a few fractions of a second and often, also thanks to experience, it is the instinct that decides.
My strength is swimming. I often find myself in a great position after the first fraction, while the discipline I'm working on most intensely is the race, because as one of the great champions of this sport said: “In swimming, you can lose the race, but it is in the run section that you win it ”.
T1: the interest in engineering.
I began my University career in Civil Engineering at the University of Trento, and then continued with a specialization in "Management Engineering" in Bergamo. For me, the study has always been a help to the sporting career and not a hindrance, as someone might think. In fact, it allows me to completely separate my head from the sporting environment and although it is not easy to find the time for the studies and for training in a very demanding sport like triathlon. I feel that it helps me a lot to find a balance.
CYCLING: the “Vision” meaning.
It means to have a “vision”, a dream, a goal to be achieved. It is something that every athlete has inside and it is the fuel with which they feed their dreams.
T2: Three words to define triathlon.
AN-INCREDIBLE-JOURNEY - For me, triathlon is really an incredible journey; both literally, since I competed in about 30 countries in all 5 continents; also figuratively, because it allowed me to know myself better as an athlete and above all as a person.
Credits: Tommy Zaferes
RUNNING: the thoughts during the most difficult moments of the race.
In the most difficult moments of a race you are terribly alone, and I believe that every athlete reaches the maximum of introspection in those moments. There must be a basic desire that pushes us to go beyond the limit of fatigue. These are the moments where you need to stay focused as much as possible on the goal and look for the energies to continue to hold on until the finish line.
FINISH LINE: the next big goal.
Over the upcoming months I will face the last efforts of the qualifying run in Tokyo 2020. The competition will be very high, but I am ready and determined to “play” this opportunity until the end.