Adrenaline junkie Zak Perzamanos is jumping to success

Zak Perzamanos is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie with eyes set on his next adventure at a maiden Olympic Games at Paris 2024.

The 21-year-old clinched Team GB a men's trampolining quota spot for this summer's Games with a fifth-place finish at the 2023 World Championships and could now make his Olympic debut in the French capital.

The reigning men's synchro European champion, alongside teammate Corey Walkes, Perzamanos is currently one of the leading British athletes on the trampoline and explained that his love for the sport weirdly stems from his fear: that adrenaline-fuelled feeling of flying through the air.

"It's a bit of the fear factor but I love the adrenaline rush you get when you're trying new skills that you haven't done before," he said.

"You know it's quite risky but you want to see if you're capable.

"I love that adrenaline pump."

Liverpool born and bred, Perzamanos took up trampolining after being dragged along to a taster session by his older sister Holly.

The two trained together as children, although the younger sibling will never live down his sister's dominating victory over him at their first-ever competition.

In fact, Perzamanos revealed that it's a topic of conversation that still rears its head every now and then, like any good sibling rivalry.

"When we were a lot younger, my sister wanted to go to a trampoline event at school but didn't want to go on her own," he said.

"Being the younger brother I was then forced to go along with her.

"When I started, I thought trampolining was just a back garden thing but you go on the Olympic trampoline and they are a lot different.

"I remember that the first competition we went to, she won and beat me.

"It was an awkward car journey home and she still holds it against me to this day funnily enough."

Perzamanos has spent the last few years climbing the ranks of British trampolining and made a notable emergence onto the senior stage when winning mixed team bronze at the 2021 World Championships, backing it up with gold a year later.

But it was 2023 that saw Perzamanos clinch individual success, not on the podium but by punching Team GB a ticket to Paris 2024 in front of a home crowd in Birmingham.

"There was a great build-up to that competition and I was really confident," he said.

"I had that mindset that, regardless with how it went, I knew I wanted to learn from it and enjoy the home crowd.

"That definitely took some pressure off how big the occasion was for us.

"There was so much relief to know that we have that spot there now, half of the job is done.

"Ideally we wanted two spots but it's been difficult to do that and didn't quite manage it."

In synchro terms, Perzamanos reached another milestone at the recent European Championships in Portugal.

Teaming up with close friend Walkes, the duo stormed to gold with a perfect set of routines in what the Liverpool FC fan noted as a welcome surprise as he strives for perfection.

"My aim is just to enjoy competitions and that thrill," he added. "So to actually go away, enjoy it and win gold was great.

"On the individual I took away a lot of little learnings because it didn't go my way. The first round was great but the semi-final saw a couple of silly little mistakes.

"I've still got a lot to learn on my way to becoming the perfect trampolinist.

"But the synchro gave us a clean sweep day and perfected all our routines.

"To walk away as European champions, we weren't really expecting it so it was amazing."

The highest placed finish for a British male trampolinist at the Olympics goes to Lee Brearley who clinched sixth at the event's inaugural showing at Sydney 2000, with two-time Olympic medallist Bryony Page leading the way on the women's side in recent years.

With Paris 2024 now around the corner, Perzamanos is one of several British athletes competing to clinch the single men's individual place avaliable.

And despite his admittedly low TV figures when it comes to the trampolining at the Games, Perzamanos is dreaming of finally making his childhood dream come true.

He said: "It's bad but I've never really watched trampolining at an Olympic Games!

"I was a teenager and only trained it and didn't really watch it until recently but I love watching the athletics and the football. It's whatever is on the TV really.

"It's all you ever want from when you're younger, to call yourself an Olympian.

"It would feel like all the years I've put in have paid off if I do get to go."

Sportsbeat 2024