The last touches exchanged with foreigners in competition go back to the World Championships in Budapest last July. This week, the collective France welcomes the team from Japan, Ukraine and Bulgaria in the training center at INSEP (National Institute of Sport Expertise and Performance).
After four months without seeing foreign printers, a particular feeling predominates. An almost familiar spirit is present. We want to hear about their lives next to fencing or on their summer holidays.
This creates bonds and a certain intimacy. But we are especially impatient and curious to fight on the track and discover their levels to recovery. World Champion and European Champion Olga Kharlan is part of the course. It is disturbing to see how the Ukrainian fuels all eyes and curiosities.
Such a stage before a big competition makes it possible to find landmarks against the foreign fencers. But the scenario of such encounters does not mean much. To have good feelings in training against direct opponents does not necessarily rhyme with a good result on the day of the competition. The opposite is equally true.
It sums up in part all the complexity and magic of our sport: the part of creativity, instinct, letting go can play tricks on a shooter with full confidence the previous days.
In five days, we will take the direction of Orleans for the first world cup of the season. These last moments serve to refine the details and fill up with energy and inspiration. We do not revolutionize anything in a few days of a big event. Difficult and useless to reinvent everything. The pressure is more and more felt; in the eyes, in the exchanges … Everyone must manage his stress, his impatience, his desire to fight as he can. Because in a few days, the cage with the lionesses will open and the 200 big cats will throw themselves in the arena and a survivor will prevail.
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