Dilshod Nazarov in the hammer at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 (© Getty Images)
Dilshod Nazarov made history last month in Rio by claiming Tajikistan’s first ever gold medal at an Olympic Games. Here the hammer ace responds to our first impressions questions
My first coach was my mum, Zaituna Samadovna Nazarova. She was the person who taught me not only the basics of hammer throwing, but more importantly how to be a good person.
The first competition I remember was when I was aged 14 and I finished last. My memories of the competition were not so great, but I was determined that in future I would improve and never finish last in a competition again.
First media interview
I don’t remember too many details but I remember being pleased with the finished article on me by my local newspaper.
First international competition
It came at the 1996 Asian Junior Championships in New Delhi, where I have bad memories as all three throws were out of the sector and I no-marked. I have no real memories of the city, but I recall I was not sad for too long because I immediately started to prepare for the next season, which was much better for me (Nazarov won a bronze medal at the 1997 West Asian Games).
My first sport was basketball and I went on to represent my home city of Dushanbe. I quit basketball aged 10. I felt playing basketball helped my hammer career in lots of ways, but it particularly helped my coordination.
First international medal
That came in 1997 when I won a bronze medal at the West Asian Games held in Tehran in Iran. That day I threw a personal best and I was proud of how I managed to compete. Winning bronze there acted as a real motivation to want to improve further. (Two years later Nazarov was crowned Asian junior champion and in 2000 he finished fifth at the World Junior Championships in Santiago).
It was my father (who was killed as a soldier in the Tajikistani Civil War), who was my idol because he was always the person I wanted to be.
First thing learned to cook
It was to cook pommes frites (chips) from the age of eight. Today I like to prepare food for my friends like Tajikistan’s national dish of Plovh – a rice cooked in a seasoned broth.
It was a little model car.
I started to drive from the age of 21 and my first car was a Ford Mondeo. It was a reliable car.
It was a german shepherd dog called Milan, who used to follow me faithfully everywhere, from when I was aged about seven. Now my family has a labrador named Loy.
Steve Landells for the IAAF