Interview with Safet Alibasic
Hi Safet, how are you feeling with less than 2 months to go until the start of the Paralympics?
Hi! Well, right now I don’t think about the Paralympics that much because I’m busy with my trainings and preparations…
What have you and the team being doing to prepare? Is there much more work to be done?
All of us are already in training process and in few days we will go on our first preparations as national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have in plan three cycles of preparations.
How are preparations different for Rio than the last two Games?
I’m sure that our system of preparations is on high level so we won’t change a lot.
Last competition was European championship 2015. We won 1st place and we didn’t lose not even one set.
Has the final team been announced yet? If not, when will it be decided?
As a player, I don’t know who will be in final team yet. We will know it after the second cycle of preparations. Couch will decide about it…
Do you have any tips on team mates to look out for in Rio?
We play as a team for a long time so we all know what to expect.
You’re going into the games as the defending champions, do you think that puts extra pressure on you to perform?
Of course it does. We have to focus on playing and not to let that pressure affect our game and our results.
What will be the key aspects on defending your title in Rio?
Our team spirit and our unity.
Has the sport changed at all since Bosnia & Herzegovina won gold in 2012?
I think it has changed but not enough. Now, we begin to have support of all state institutions. Not only sitting volleyball but all sports in our country. With higher state support athletes achive better results.
Are there any particular opponents you think will be tough to beat?
National team of Iran is one of the greatest opponents but Brazil as organiser of the Games is definitely very strong. So we will see, it is up to us to fight to the victory.
You were hailed as the ‘Golden Boys’ by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Chairman, what has the build up to these games been like at home?
Is there a set expectation which if met, would mean the team had a successful tournament?
Our only goal and expectation is defending gold medal.
You’ve already achieved a great deal of success, Paralympic gold and silver medallist, World and European champion, where would another gold medal rank in this list of achievements?
Each medal has its value and meaning for us as a team. If we win gold again that will help us to confirm and justify all our efforts, preparation and commitment.
You’ve often talked about your teams’ spirit and strength of character after having experienced so much tragedy at an early age, do you think this steely determination brings you closer as a group?
Definitely yes. The war suffering is joining all of us and we know trough what we had to go trough and that make us stronger and that hold us together even that seem strange to some people. That gives us strength as a team.
You will be approaching 34 after these Paralympics, have you decided on your future after the games?
I promised myself that I will play until 2024 if I do not have any serious sports injuries.
Thanks for your time Safet, all the best in Rio!