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© Airi Mikkela

Finnish Airi Mikkela: eat, sleep, train, repeat!

© Airi Mikkela+

I remember joking about how crazy and funny it would be if the last tournament decided whether me or Nanna is going to Rio. Well, now it's happening and I'm not laughing anymore.

This Olympic qualification, a whole year full of hard work and big sacrifices, is coming to an end next week. Only one tournament, the European Championships, is left and I'm still high enough in the ranking and so qualified for the Olympics at the moment.

However, that can easily change next week. In a way I'm extremely scared of this ending badly for me. On the other hand I'm super happy that this is over soon and very proud of everything I've already accomplished this year. Or at least I'm trying to be.

So next week will decide a lot but let's focus on this moment now and talk about next week later. A lot has happened since my last blog post. Back then I told I was going to play the last team match of the season and then travel to Peru and Chile for tournaments. Well, I played the team match and I played in Peru, but right now I'm not in Chile but back home in Denmark.

I'm really struggling to find a good way to write this text and so I will use my secret weapon - brainstorming and a random list. So here we go:

  • On Monday my team won the last team match and so the team will stay in the 1st division also for next season. We had to win and it was so so so exciting and my hands were shaking, but we won 8-5. I beat Danish u17 champion in my singles in two sets which was a good win.
  • On Tuesday morning I flew to Peru and arrived there in the evening. I was exhausted and fell asleep right away.
  • On Wednesday I practiced but my legs were tired and heavy thanks to the long trip and tough matches on Monday.
  • On Thursday I played my first match against a tough opponent, Lithuanian Akvile Stapusaityte (wr 79). It was not an easy match but I played quite well and managed to win in three sets. Afterwards I was very tired, there was at least a million degrees in the hall and I felt sick.
  • On Friday I played my second match against the second seeded player Iris Wang from USA (wr 30). We had very long rallies and it was still extremely hot in the hall and I was dead already at 4-4 in the first set. And Iris played very well. So I lost.
  • On Friday night I calculated the ranking points and found out that even if I won in Chile, it wouldn't help my ranking enough. The only thing that matters right now is my result at the Europeans. I decided to go to Chile anyway.
  • On Saturday my boyfriend tried to convince me that it's not a good idea to go to Chile. Did I really think that the best preparation for the Europeans is travelling to Chile and then travelling 2 days in a row from Chile to France? No I didn't think so, but still!
  • On Saturday evening I went with my friends to see a fountain light-show and as the lights changed from green to yellow, so changed my mind as well. I'm not going to Chile, it doesn't make sense at all. It's annoying that my boyfriend is often right but I'm still happy that I have him. And then I had to change my flight.
  • On Sunday morning I woke up after sleeping only four hours. I had a new flight (thanks for help mum and dad <3) and I went to practice. In the evening I flew back to Denmark and I was home on yesterday evening.
  • Today I woke up at 10.40. I've never slept so long before! Jet lag, we meet again.

So yeah, that's it.

Tomorrow will be all about eat, sleep, train, repeat. And so will the rest of the week. One more time I will get myself ready for a tournament and then I've done all I possibly could. Whether it will be enough or not, I know I've done my best.

And I want to say thank you for all the sweet messages and comments! They all warm my heart a lot even though I don't always remember or have time to answer :)

xxx
Airi

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