"If we only compete, the public will be the same as 30 years ago ... and in the end it will die"
At 39, He is still able to run the 100 meters in less than 10:40. He has been in this for a long time, he has already been on several occasions the captain of the Spanish delegations in great championships and his voice is undoubtedly one of the most authorized to talk about any aspect related to athletics and elite sport. Angel David Rodriguez, the ‘Bird’, still has rope for a while. It comes from being runner-up in Spain and achieving in Vallehermoso its best brand of the season. One more. And they go now ...
39 tacos and running the 100 in less than 10.40, Bird ...
“Bittersweet season. Physically I began to feel well the last 3-4 weeks. Through training I began to find something better; At the beginning of the season the races all came out with wind against me. But in any case I was hoping I could have gone down in some 10:30 test. I keep that maybe with a career or two more I could have done it. I have competed little for work, for injuries, etc., and in the end the only Meeting I have competed is in Madrid ”.
What is your elixir of eternal youth?
“My elixir is the desire. In pre-season I was going to the movies, but I had a fairly strong injury. Before that I was even biting with the jumpers of my group: Pablo Torrijos, Cáceres, etc. Of strength very well, the speed began faster than other years but an injury left me two months stopped. I recovered it well because they gave me six months. Then the pain went away except for an Achilles warrior tendon. I will have to take advantage, load in preseason and see if I can make a good and long covered track. ”
What is most recommended for an athlete of 100 at the level of spikes and competing?
“The way, no matter how much you train the same, it does not work out the same. Yes you notice that the effort is maximum in competition, but you do not have the feeling that "yesterday I ran everything". For example, there are championships in Spain that the next day I wake up made a christ and in the last one, after three races, I got up well and warming up for the relay was going pretty well and on Monday I wasn't very tired. There is an involuntary part, no matter how much you want to activate there is a part that the body takes it out or not depending on intensity, emotion, etc. ”
“For example, in the European Cup in the semifinal I did run full, but in the final I noticed that that race only had to be finished because then I had the relief. In forced or engaged competitions I know that I have to play an ‘x’ role; if I in the middle of the race I see that with ‘x’ level it is enough to win I try not to run anymore unless I see that it is a spectacular day, that it is going to run a lot, etc.
Bolt has left us orphans ...
"We have stayed orphans more at the media level. It is true that there are a lot of athletes in 9:90, not so many in 9.80. I think that in the face of the world championship we will see things. It's pre-Olympic year, we have come from a very very good generation with Bolt, Gatlin, Gay, etc. Now there is Coleman who I think is capable of doing 9.70 strips or even less. They are generational changes and are happening in all tests. Athletics goes a lot in cycles and you have to compete against the ones you have in your generation. Maybe Bolt wouldn't have run so much without Gay or Powell. People ask that they be the top world brands, but that goes against athletics because they are not looking for competition among the athletes themselves, but they are trying to sell world records in excess, etc. You have to go back to the competition. ”
Noah Lyles is perhaps one of the sensations now ...
“Lyles is a very good 200 runner, as there will have been five or six in history and he is going up. It does not seem to have anyone above. It is true that there will be several athletes who can lose the 19.80 in the World Cup. If Lyles the big day has competition and they force him to keep an eye because he can still hit a scare, a 19.4 or 19.30 and long, sure. ”
Is there generational relief in the Spanish 100 or should we worry?
“There is generational relief for years. The main problem is a mixture of luck, stubbornness and involvement when you have an injury. I have had many injuries and you always have a couple of days annoyed. In the Spanish Championship, Aitor Ekobo, Yunier Pérez were missing and Sergio López is discharged the same day of the championship. There are three very good athletes, in theory the logic says that they can be ahead of me. The Spanish Championship is not a real drawing of 100 in Spain. Continuity, regularity, apart from luck, is the determination. Injuries often come when you are fitter. This year in 400 something similar is happening, we have a very good 400 but many setbacks are happening. Many injuries for very good people and if nothing happens it would be a spectacular generation. ”
You recently commented that Warholm is the best athlete you've ever seen. Explain yourself.
“Warholm seems to me the best athlete I've ever seen. I like the 4 fences a lot, I think it's a complicated test both physically and technically and I think this guy is a physical prodigy, of bravery and is very good technically and I've never seen anyone like that endure lactic acid. It does things every day, which some have ever do. Warholm runs the fences at the same pace that many very good people have done, but this guy is above them. You see them running and it seems very good, but when you look at the times you realize that it is great. I have not seen anything equal or speed, or deep ...Maybe a Kipchoge? Also visually you see it and it seems very normal, it does not have the aura of a TOP athlete.
Should athletes and athletes in general exploit social networks much more? In what direction?
“The athlete he has to worry about generating his content and he has to fight to give him the content that he stars. I understand that an athlete who climbs his career in his networks is favoring the organizer, is spreading it. And in athletics that is not given to us. There are people who buy their own photos of competitions, but it is curious because I am the protagonist and I will use them to make promotion. Do not generate exclusivity, but at least content should be shared freely. The athletic public will remain the same as 30 years ago if we focus only on training and competing, but those are going to die. ”
“People now follow the sport digitally. The kids are on social networks and on payment platforms and not on Teledeporte. The easiest thing is for the athlete and the athletic environment to disseminate the content. I consider it key to eating. If you only want to live on public aid, it seems fine, but if you get a commercial house, what you want is to sell. It's good that you're good, but nobody knows you. And today there are many cases like that. Things are not communicated. It is not known who is the 1500 recordman on the indoor track, but who is for example Sidney Mclaughlin because he has a multitude of followers on Instagram. Who will earn more money? It is clear. ”
What formulas do you see to attract more people and raise audiences?
“The RFEA worked on it in the Spanish championship and they hired a multiscreen on YouTube. They are different things that can be exploited and that as far as possible should be exploited. For example, The Match is a different competition, but the problem is to generate different content throughout the year. If you see the calendar of competitions of the most followed sports, such as football, tennis, basketball, they generate content 11 months a year. The objective should be that, give continuity. In athletics if you compete two, three times a year people forget you. Now we have been running since April. It is interesting for athletes. ”
You have very clear things, a firm and structured speech. Do you see yourself chairing any entity in the future?
“What he wants is to return everything he has given me to sport, which is a lot. What the sport needs is to attract customers and brands. Clients call themselves ‘athletes, fans’ and brands so that resources can enter and be able to reinvest them in all aspects that should be enhanced. My post-sports goal is going to be that, I don't tell you in which specific project but it is going to go there"
"For now we will continue another year. There are Olympic Games, European and you have to try ”.
Listen to the interview from the 24:40 minute of the following links: