Success Story of Kristina Svilenova
A short introduction to yourself?
I am a Bulgarian karate girl. Mostly smiling, determined, with a fighting spirit, strong sense of justice and highly motivated to achieve my goals
How did you develop your fondness for your sport and at what age did you start learning?
I started practicing karate after I found out quite by chance that training was taking place near my home. I was very curious and interested in what it was, and therefore, together with my brother, one spring day we went to the hall./dojo. It all started 22 years ago, when I was 10 years old, and I haven’t stopped training until now. Love at first sight.
What is your style and what rank do you currently hold in?
The style that I practice Is Shotokan Karate Do and I have black belt – 3rd dan In WKF ranking now I am at N 35 in kumite -50kg, and N 1 in Bulgarian National Karate Federation
Are you a member of any sports team? if not have you ever been?
Yes, I am a member of Bulgarian national Karate Team and Bulgarian Shotokan Karate Do Team. I am a general part of the “Shield” Karate Club in Bulgaria. One of the most successful in the country.
Do you have a favorite sports teacher?
Of course my first Sensei Alexander Slavkov. He is the reason that I love karate. I greatly admire and respect Anton Nikulin – Ukrainian kumite coach.
Describe your major highlights and achievements in sports in the past.
I am a multiple World and European Shotokan Karate champion. Multiple national champion, Balkan medalist. One of the most prominent athletes of the city where I live – Novi Iskar. In the last 3 years, I reached the 7th place twice in kumite (-50kg) and twice 5-th place team kumite at the WKF European Championship. I will do everything to get on the podium next year.
Do you take sports as a profession or is it just a hobby?
I can say that I am a semi-professional, because the conditions in Bulgaria at this stage do not allow professional sports, as far as karate and work as a competitor are concerned.
What challenges have you faced in getting to where you are now? You can also share any injury story.
Over the years I had a problem with my participation in the high-ranking competitions, due to financial reasons, problems with the national team coaches taking me out of the squad for no good reason. It also cost me a lot of effort and hardship to maintain my weight category (-50kg). Fortunately, so far, I haven’t had any serious injuries that would take me out of the sport.
What motivates you most about your profession?
It is a passion that cannot be explained in words. Each competition brings with it expectations, hopes, adrenaline. Every win makes me feel great and every loss makes me come back stronger than before. I also travel to different places, enrich myself, meet new people with whom we share the love of karate.
Do you think everybody should practise sports or do you want everyone to learn?
Yes, of course. Sports is a wonderful universe that everyone should touch. Sports builds a strong spirit and character, intransigence, will to win, which are strongly tied to serious discipline and responsibility.
What tournament or match you have won are you most proud of and why
The fights in the team kumite discipline bring me the greatest pleasure and thrill, because there I participate not only for myself, but for the team and for Bulgaria. I will never forget the first time we qualified for the bronze medal match at the European Championships in 2018 in Novi Sad, Serbia and again in 2021 in Porec, Croatia.
Are there any short-term goals you’d like to accomplish in the next few months to a couple of years?
Yes, at the moment I have put my efforts and hopes towards the possibility of qualifying for the European Olympic Games in Poland in 2023.
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