The defending champion defended his title this Tuesday after a rule change that forced him to abandon his usual kayak.
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About five years ago, tiny fins, a few-inch pieces of plastic such as those carrying surfboards, forced maialen charouetThe current Olympic champion in slalom canoeing, to make a discovery that took too long and drove him into despair. If this Tuesday he is at the Tokyo Games (07.57 hours, semi-finals and 09.15 hours, final) to defend his Olympic gold, then it is completely out of urgency, not wanting such technical details to beat him. . But at times I felt that the road would end badly.
It all started right after the RO 2016 games. The International Canoeing Federation (ICF) greatly limited the size of these wings—an arbitrary decision—like many others, thus invalidating the kayak that the Spaniard had been using all his life and forcing To call against your will. It was time to ask a manufacturer to build a new canoe according to the rules, but when it came… oh, my friend! “The kayak without the wings slipped so much from behind, it looked like a shopping cart, and we started seeing models, and models, and more models. I think we tried 25 canoes, it was disappointing Mylaine is small but she shakes her ass a lot to put the canoe well in the water and we couldn’t find anything that suited her characteristics. There were some that could get along, but they weren’t fast. Others The ones that were fast, but had a lot of skids. In the 2017 and 2019 World Cups I failed because of that, because the canoe was out of line, and it was like… Huff! I can’t take it anymore. And finally it’s ours It was good that the Games were delayed because we got a good canoe in January 2021”, he explains xabi atxaneseChaurat’s coach and husband on that Eureka!
“We saw a French woman carrying a smaller version of the canoe that Maialene had already tested in 2018 and she discarded it because it was too big. And we went to the manufacturer to ask for an equivalent or slightly smaller ran. They sent us up to a size four and finally, earlier this year we found the perfect one. As soon as she saw it, Maialen said: ‘It is’. And finding it helped her a lot to get into these games Better,” says the technician at Butcher Channel in Tokyo. , OK later Ander Elosi Ranked eighth on your test. This Monday was the fourth Olympic diploma for Spain, having already finished fourth at the Beijing 2008 Games and London 2012 Games.
The heat and humidity turn the place into a jacuzzi you can’t live without sweating, but both Etxaniz and Courraut smile as they come here to enjoy. In addition to regulation changes with kayaks, the canoeist suffered multiple injuries during the Olympic cycle and now, already recovered, she just wants to “flow, have fun.” “Those have been complicated years. Everything’s happened to us, we’ve moved from La Seu d’Urgel to San Sebastian … many things. But Maialene comes through very well, very strong,” predicts Atxniz Think about anything you can do by looking at the rivals.
In the list, for example, New Zealander luca jones and australian jessica fox, who had already lost to the Spanish five years earlier. Chanel is considered “too tough” as it was at the Ro 2016 games, so Chourout, as no one else has experienced, has that side. After several changes in her life and, above all, a change of canoe that has cost her nerves, she is already ready for her third Olympic medal, knowing a second gold medal.