SportsThe seventh European gold for Carolina Marin and the three hours a...

    The seventh European gold for Carolina Marin and the three hours a day by bus to play

    Twelve months from the 2024 Paris Olympic Games -her lifeline after the second rupture of the cruciate ligament- and after turning 30 Carolina Marin returns to find the best feelings of the past. This Sunday she defeated the Danish Mia Blichfeldt (21-15 and 21-14) in the final of the European Games in Krakow – which in the case of badminton was worth the continental title – and she reaped her seventh gold.

    It has done so, yes, with a bus journey of three hours a day -an hour and a half there and an hour and a half back along Polish country roads- since, unlike its rivals with a hotel a few kilometers from the pavilion, the forced to stay in the Villa along with the rest of the Spanish expedition. This meant, for example, that the day she played the last shift, she would arrive at the Villa at midnight and finish her physio session at 2 in the morning. And the next day the training was set for 10 [solo habia una pista para entrenos] . “We couldn’t go, of course. It is the first tournament in which we have not done sessions on the track between one match and another”, details Fernando Rivas, his coach.

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    He is the one who most celebrates that Marin has recovered the sensations of yesteryear. “Already from Indonesia [hace unos dias, donde alcanzo la final] we managed to reconnect Carol with things from the past that were going very well for her and that were not working out for us. Carol has been talking for a long time about how she doesn’t have good feelings and she focused a lot on that instead of how to reverse them. In recent years, he has devoted his psychic resources to recovering from injuries, to overcoming the death of his father, the death of the dog… He had no resources left to get out of there, ”explains Rivas at the same time that he says that the work of Maria Martinez [la psicologa] has once again been instrumental in that. “Maria asked us for patience, she made us see that it was not that Carol didn’t want to, but that she couldn’t,” says her technician.

    His head, he says, clicked in Indonesia after a two-hour talk. “The best training sessions and the big changes usually happen off the track. So it was. A small window opened for us in which we reconnected with things from the past that worked well for Carolina. We were very frustrated because we didn’t know how to help her.” Rivas, who has been working with her since she was a girl who arrived from Huelva to the CAR in Madrid, celebrates having overcome that stage of “bad feelings” that did not make her move forward. “In the past, Carol has always immediately assumed the subject as hers and she always made the quick change, this time it was difficult for us to hit the key.”

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    Also because at 30 the prospects are not the same as at 20. “And also because at 30 you can’t train like you did when you were 20. We talked about it a lot, how to approach this last stretch and how to do it so that it continues to rise. She is very impetuous, she always thinks that she can handle everything and she can, but not in the same way that she was 20 years old. The tools are different on a body 10 years older. “You have to resort to different tools, such as experience and technique,” says Rivas.

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    The type of work has changed. “We train less. Less track, and more physical, but much of the physical is prevention, so that the body is balanced and the knees healthy. We do high-intensity but shorter training sessions, and we seek to reduce impacts on the track. Of course, that requires a much greater mental activation, because it is only an hour of training. And that is what has cost more. But it has come in handy in matches because it starts out much more active”.

    Indonesia and Krakow, his last two tournaments, are proof of this. The road to the Paris Games -where he will arrive at the age of 31- has begun. The next stop is the World Cup in Denmark from August 21 to 27.

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    Source: EL PAIS

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