ADPP’s Interview with Darius Knight!

18/1/12

Hi Darius, thanks so much for catching up with us! Finally it is 2012, we all know what that means right!?
It’s a big year and there are lot of sports in the lime light. It is, for some, the last opportunity they will have to represent their country but for all of us it will be the last time we will have the chance to do it in from of a home crowd. This is an opportunity that will never happen again in my lifetime and I just hope I make it, and that the selectors can see the potential in me as an athlete and a figurehead for the sport. Right now it’s game time; if you want to be picked for the team than you have to step your game up, so that’s what I have been trying to do and I enjoy the pressure.

With the Olympics less than 200 days away, 2012 is set up to be a big year for the sport of Table Tennis. with many eyes on the sport! What do you think about all this positive exposure?!
I’m currently away and I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to any of the media. There is life after the Olympic games, but sometimes I feel that the media is going on like its all or nothing for 2012. I will be 22 after the Olympics so will still be a young buck and will have a lot more to offer in 2012 and beyond. To be honest, I haven’t seen any exposure in table tennis but for general sports and the Olympics the whole nation seems to be buzzing for it.

Amazingly there is more than just the Olympics scheduled this year, aside from the London games, what other tournaments at club and country level are you hoping to compete in?
Currently this week I have the Hungarian Pro Tour then the Slovenia Pro Tour a week later then I have also got few clubs matches in between. However, the main ones are the World Team Championships and the Olympic Qualifications, if I get selected! The cut of line where the team will be shortened from 8 to a shorter number is February the 1st so I’m pretty confident I will make that:).

I saw on your site you had to take a 12-hour train while in China! With all the traveling you do as a pro table tennis star, how do you keep yourself entertained/busy?
I always have my music, laptop and films. I watch TV series and there
is also just natural entertainment! Time goes by fast when you have music you enjoy!

And coming into this year you must have set yourself some goals/targets, what are they?
Well I want to get my world ranking to around 150-200 before the Olympics at least. Although, I don’t want to aim to high then not make it because it varies on a few things getting there. In the senior nationals I would love to win the single because that’s the only title that I haven’t won.

This has got to be one of your busiest years yet and I can imagine your fixture list is a big one: but are there any big promotional/charity events in the diary?
I have got a lot to things in the calendar, but want to be careful not to have to many things going on as it can mess up my training. I’m just trying to think what’s best for me. I have a new documentary and a music video with coca cola so I think when they are released it will be pretty massive so I will try and get out the country and train and keep low and humble. It’s about my life and where I’m from and in it I meet Mark Ronson and Katy B. I is coming out real soon but I can’t say when;).

You have a great relationship with Fred Perry, what is it like being part of such a big name like that?
It’s always great to be linked with a company like Fred Perry who I have been with since I was 15. 6 years later they are still supporting me, which is great. I have also been really fortunate to represent MINI PARK LANE. I live close to Park Lane in London and I used to pass their store most days and dream of getting a car from there. Now I have one that they gave me for free! So things are starting to fall in the right place!However I still need a decent financial sponsor but I’m sure if I keep working and getting the results, it will all come eventually!

And in terms of your training, how is everything going?
Yeah training is going okay, but its important to unleash the best in the competitions. I mean, there’s so much going on and I am not ‘competition training’ as much as I would like but I feel I’m in a good space and I’m really enjoying training in Austria and competing all over the world.

Going back to the games, do you feel this year could be one of Team GB’s most successful; can we start to challenge for those medal positions?
In table tennis I think it’s difficult, but we can do well and over achieve; we seem to do
a lot of that! I think we have a long way to go as a team and individually but in the
Europeans I think we are not far off being able to compete for the medals!

Thanks so much for your time Darius! ADPP wishes you a successful 2012.

It is clear to see that Darius has a great head on his shoulders. He touched on the subject of his age, and at just 21 there is a lot more to come from this rising star. Not a lot of people realise how much hard work and dedication it takes to get to Darius’ level and he has overcome many barriers in order to get to where he is now. I am sure we will see this all in his upcoming documentary that he mentioned!

For any further infomation about the interview please feel free to contact us!

Jojo
ADPP
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