Denis Sketako (1988) was born in Hrastnik, a town located in the center of Slovenia and the birthplace of mining since the last century. Far from engaging in the charcoal business, this light-eyed blonde fully entered the world of basketball, setting him aside in 2009 to devote himself fully to triathlon. Last summer he touched the sky after being proclaimed European Champion of Long Distance Triathlon in Poznan and on May 20 will be one of the heads of the international poster of the Bilbao Triathlon.
– How and why did you start in Triathlon?
In my job as a rescuer I swam a lot and I was thinking about running and cycling too. Therefore about triathlon! The Ironman word echoed in my head all the time. And in June 2011, I really heard it when I crossed the finish line in Klagenfurth with time 10h 22min. At the same time I become the FIRST ZASAVJE IRONMAN.
– What is your best skill? Bike, run, swim ..
From beginning swimming was my hardest discipline. In the past two years I improve very much in swimming. I feel stronger on run.
In Bilbao, triathletes say that the most decisive part of the race is the bike because you have to climb a lot. Do you like to ride or climb more?
Where I live we have a lot of hills and most of training I do here. So I can say that I am better on climb.
– I see in your web page that you like basketball and music. What music do you listen to before you compete? Does it help you to concentrate?
Before triathlon I played basketball for 13 years. And sometimes I still play it with my friends. Yes, I like music very much and before competition I always listen my favourite playlist. This make me calm and focused. I prefer movie music, like Armageddon playlist.
– What is your calendar of competitions in 2017?
My first race will be end of April at Taiwan, then I come to Bilbao After that I have race in Hungary, Slovakia,Finland,Canada, Netherlands and Italy. This is my plan but sometimes it change. I hope this season will be without injuries.
What has been your best day as a triathlete?
Absolutely 24th July when I win European championship. I was very proud standing on podium and listening Slovenian national anthem. This was the pay day All years of training and efforts was rewarded.
– What do you know about Bilbao?
I know your football team Athletic Bilbao
And I saw on photos that Bilbao is a very sunny and modern spanish city. I follow Bilbao triathlon from beginning and I hope to have time after race to see all artist beauty and taste local specialty.
– You are a Long Distance Specialist. How do you think you will get the Half distance in Bilbao?
You need to ask me after the race On every race I do my best and I like half distance, mostly because in half is less swimming and I have more power for ride and run.
The swimming of Bilbao is done in a river in the middle of the city with cheering on both sides. Do you think it will be very different from doing it in the open sea?
In water I do not hear cheering, bad for me But it helps every positive mind and word when you leaving water and you need to start running. This is the hardest part of race for me. I think is better that we swim in river because you have better orientation.
What makes you happiest in this sport?
Winning With 3 discipline is every day different. I am happy to see my progress and how far I can go.