mardi 22 mai 2012

European Champs: Bronze medal in Relay

Up & down and up again!

The end of the EOC program was quite tough for me with the Long and sprint finals and the relay within 3 days in the row. After a satisfying 10th place in long, my sprint race was catastrophic:
I didn’t’ feel in good shape, but my technical performance was much worse than my physical abilities. I think that I forgot to orienteer or maybe I was doing it in the wrong way (reading the map late or not in right time…) so it leads to many mistakes on route-choices and searching controls + I even miss the second map at the map exchange (climbing the stairs, going down and up again and I finally went but in the wrong way…) and I finished in the 40th position. To conclude, it was a real disappointment for me especially because I have done several bad performances in sprint lately whereas I have been focus on that type of races for the last few years’ world champs… So now, 2 months left before the WOC to adjust the technique (mental?) (GPS, Results and TV streaming)

Furthermore, I have been sick for some times and it went worse on Saturday evening so we thought at that time that I couldn’t run the relay, but we still waited one resting night to see how it would evolve. As it was much better on Sunday morning, we decide that I run the first leg of the relay even if the doctor evaluates my shape at 85% of the max. Was it a good choice?

Relay bronze medal!
Before the very exiting start of the relay under the impressive jumping ramp of Falun, I felt in quite good shape (much better than the day before) so it sounded good for the team. We were strongly motivated to make a good result and at least to keep the silver medal that we won 2 years ago in Bulgaria! The first part of my race was as good as expected where I stock to the order of coach Kenneth: I was staying safe and in control behind the leader on mostly every important route-choices without taking many individual initiative although I went some time alone to my own forking controls. It was good to be in the leading group but on the last forking part, we split the group and we were together with J. Prochazka (CZE) deciding to speed-up a little on the last long rout choice to come close to the jumping ramp. Finally, I stayed in the lead until the change-over even if I was running really carefully to every last controls. So it was an amazing feeling to enter the noisy arena in the lead with such a great atmosphere of so many spectators. Then, my 2 team-mates P. Adamski and F. Gonon also made a perfect job and we kept in the leading group during the entire relay fighting for the victory until the last meters. To finish, a fence rout-choice and the impressive speed of the Suisse-guy M. Kyburz and the ‘almost’ Suisse A. Holmberg (SWE) decided the podium and we proudly took the bronze medal and showed again that the French team has a really strong relay team (even without our leader Tero who was injured at home).

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