At 31 years old, she has never been so strong. And she is already World champion ! It was in 2014. In 2010, she also ranked 2nd. This year, in 2018, she again made a full season. Winner of the K1 of Dubai and Istanbul (3rd in Berlin), Sara Cardin is the -55 kg Grand Winner. The three-time European champion (2010, 2014, 2016), 3rd in Novi Sad this year, is on her way to a 3rd World medal.
By Ludovic Mauchien
You are Grand Winner 2018 ? How does it feel ?
I feel very proud of this season. The results make me very confident entering the World championships.
The season has been long and tiring. How do you feel ? How did you handle with that ?
Obviously, it has been a very long season for all everyone involved. Time and stress is always a concern. Having to practice new tactics, dealing with several competitions would not be easy for anyone. Finding time to recover one’s mind and body is a great stress for all competitors.
However, my excellent team have given me nothing but brilliant support and have driven me to achieve marvelous things this season. With them, I am confident that I can and will be able to deal with this coming issue, the Worlds.
What happened in Tokyo (she lost at the 2nd round against Zakharova and then against Yamada in repechage) ?
What can I say ? It happens. Every fight is different and, in Tokyo, I wasn’t at my best. It just wasn’t my day.
Are you satisfied with your preparation ? How was its schedule ?
Yes, I am. At the moment, I feel everything is going well and progressing. Last week, we had a national training camp and I’m feeling strong.
Has your way of preparing has changed since there are more competitions than before ?
Every fight and competition is different. You have to be flexible and deal with it. For example, working with weights has been something which I used to do less in the past but now, this has become more important.
Do you train the same way than when you were 20 ?
No, I train a lot more now. I’m at a higher level now. Karaté is my job.
Do you have time to do something else than Karate ?
Very little time. Occasionally, I find some to do simple things like going shopping with friends. And I did go to the beach this summer !
Do you consider that Karate has changed a lot for the last 2 years, with the Olympics coming ?
I think it is fantastic that the sport has started to be taken more seriously by many countries. The funding has led to the increase in the ability of many competitors.
What have your learnt from the 2016 Worlds in Linz (she ranked 5th) ?
To not be too emotional before, during and after a fight.
Thinking about the Worlds, what do you fear the most ?
My greatest fear is myself.
Terliuga, Tzu Yun Wen, Kumizaki : 3 different schools. Which one do you prefer to fight ? Do you fight them differently ?
I prefer Tzu Yun Wen because she has a good attitude to sport. She is varied with her techniques and I respect her as a sportswoman.
What is the feeling of being World champion ?
If I won once, I can win again and again and again.