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Q&A with Olympian Natalya Coyle

natalyaNickname: Tal

Occupation: Athlete & Athlete mentor for Sky Sports Living For Sport

Sporting hero: I don’t really have a sporting hero. I admire many Irish athletes who have shown that even though we are a small country we can compete among the best. My dad is a big hero of mine!

Favourite Quote: No matter how tough it gets never give up for regret at the end of the day will be worse.

Hobbies: Eating out, drinking coffee, napping!

Favourite Movie: The blind side

Favourite Foods: Sweet potato fries! I am pretty adventurous so I like to try lots of different foods.

Favourite place: I love training in Budapest as its so beautiful & the facilities are brilliant. But I also love being home in Ireland & Meath in the summer!

Music on your i-pod: A mix of everything but I do love Kanye West currently. I love sticking my phone of shuffle when running! (Some dodgy 90s included!)

An Interesting Story: In secondary school I was on the same hockey team as two of the other Rio Olympians (Sara Treacy & Camilla Speirs)! I also got to run with the Olympic torch in Dublin in 2012.

Modern Pentathlon

What year did you start: 2009

Why Pentathlon: I started out with pony club tethrathlon. One day one of the other athletes (Eanna Bailey) introduced me to fencing. I really just fell into training full time & haven’t stopped enjoying it since!

Favourite Discipline: Fencing (well if it’s going well you feel invincible!)

Best part of training: Seeing the gains you can make. Especially nailing a tough set when you haven’t before! Worst part of training: I’m really not a morning person! I used to really struggle cooling down but I’ve gotten better.

Motivational tricks: Thinking about the goals you want in the future. Very difficult to train if you’re not aiming towards anything!

Competitions: Just relax and enjoy it. All the work is done before so just soak up the opportunity & give it hell.

Any superstitions: Magpies! They’re always around the training center!

Night before a comp: Pack up my bag, check my epees are working & make a plan of things to focus on for the day ahead. I’ll read or watch a show & try to get a good sleep in.

Rio 2016

What does competing in the Olympics mean to you? It’s the ultimate honour. To represent your country and wear your national tracksuit is the thing dreams are made of!

What are you looking forward to most in Rio 2016? Competing! I can’t wait to get on the start line! Apart from that I’m looking forward to the build up & the closing ceremony

Anything else you want to add? Everything I’ve done so far wouldn’t have happened without my team of coaches & support staff. They deserve the biggest thanks.

Other facts about Natalya

Date of Birth:11/12/1990

Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland

World Ranking: 29th

Major Achievements: 9th London 2012 Olympic Games

10th World Cup 4, Russia, 2012

11th Europeans, Great Britain, 2015

World Cup Final Championship (Mixed Relay) USA, 2016

4 x World Cup Medalist (Mixed Relay) 1

What is Modern Pentathlon ?

Five Disciplines in One Day

Pentathletes are some of the hardest working and dedicated athletes you’ll ever come across. Devoting endless hours to training in a sport where rewards are few and far between, Pentathletes are a special breed as described by Aristole; “The most beautiful athletes are pentathletes because they are naturally endowed with both strength and speed.” The modern pentathlon (as opposed to the ancient version in the Greek Olympics) was devised by the founder of the modern Olympic; Baron Pierre De Courbitin who choose the combination of skill and physical events to contest the most all round athletes.

FENCING RANKING ROUND: Pentathletes fence with an epee against every other competitor in the competition. Each fight lasts a maximum of one minute & the target area is the whole body. This will be held before the individual finals.

SWIMMING: 200m freestlye, the faster you go the more points you get.

FENCING BONUS ROUND: Starting with the lowest two ranked athletes from the ranking round, they fence off, with the winner staying on and taking on the next opponent. Athletes gain extra points the more fights they win in the bonus round.

RIDING: Pentathletes ride unfamiliar horses over a show jumping course of up to 1.20m in height. Athletes draw their horses at random and have 20minutes with 5 practise jumps before entering the main arena.

COMBINED RUN/SHOOT: Pentathletes begin this event with a timed handicap behind the leader based on the number of points they have accumulated after the fence, swim & ride. Athletes run to the range and have to hit five targets using their laser pistol in a maximum of 50 seconds. They then run an 800m loop back to the range. This is repeated four more times before heading to the finish line. The first person crossing the finish line is the overall winner.

Natalya will compete on Thursday 18th August in Rio.

Best of luck Natalya !

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