Matthieu Androdias and Hugo Boucheron in search of individual landmarks in Poland

For the first time since the triumph of the Tokyo Games, Matthieu Androdias and Hugo Boucheron will grab three-color shovels. It will be this Thursday at the end of the afternoon on the occasion of the series of the World Cup regatta in Poznan (Poland). But on Lake Malta, the Olympic champions will line up in single sculls and not in their beloved double sculls. “We’ve been thinking for years that it would be interesting to do the single scull, to rub shoulders with the best in the discipline to try to raise our individual levels.explains Matthieu Androdias. And we made the decision to start the year like that a long time ago.

Post-Olympic depression

Totally correct, except that the path was not easy for the two Lyonnais. Both were victims, to varying degrees, of the post-Olympic depression that often strikes athletes once the deadline for the Games has passed. It was even more serious for Boucheron, who simply laid down the shovels for several months, ignoring the French short boat championships in Cazaubon in mid-April. “I was removed from all constraints, says Boucheron to explain the path taken. I did what I wanted, for as long as I wanted. I realized after a while that doing sports in the morning allowed me to have a good day, and that if I didn’t, I was in a bad mood. The pleasure came back quite naturally. I went to Cazaubon and not participating created a lack in me”. From then on, Boucheron took over “the usual way”.

For Androdias, it was a little different. Crowned French champion in Cazaubon, the young dad had planned to return to international competition a month ago in Essen (Germany). But at the end of the preparatory course on the Olympic basin of Vaires-sur-Marne, he realized that the form was not there and withdrew. “We felt that it was not going to do it and that there was no point in going there to take a sign, says the former Toulouse. Jürgen (Grobler, the boss of the France team) didn’t put any pressure on me. »

The skiff, often neglected by the French

So here are the two Olympic champions at the start of a race that they don’t really know internationally, even if Boucheron recalls that he finished fourth in the 2017 European Championships in solo. In general, the single scull has never been popular with the French who prefer to play the collective card of double or quadruple sculls. You have to go back to 1987 to find traces of a Blue in the final of a world championship (Pascal Body in 1987).

“I don’t know what it’s going to be like. I do a lot of things in training, I have a lot of desire. But desire is not everything.

The two men are hard pressed to say what they can achieve this weekend in Poland where they will face the Dutchman Melvin Twellaar who was second in the Batavian doubles behind them in Tokyo. “I don’t know what it’s gonna be like, explains Boucheron. I do a lot of things in training, I go there with a state of mind where I have a lot of desire, but desire is not everything..

“There are no big names, notes Androdias, but it’s not so much a place that we’re aiming for, it’s working in a fairly high-level context. We have four courses to do, that requires special management. You have to measure your effort to burn as few cartridges as possible before the important races. »

A discipline that requires a lot of experience

Boucheron and Androdias will also row a single scull next month in Lucerne (Switzerland, July 8-10) before returning to their normal double sculls for the European (August 11-14 in Munich) and World (September 18-25) championships. in Racice, Czech Republic). Unless one or the other explodes all alone. But for a discipline that requires a lot of experience and a great form, this is not necessarily the most plausible hypothesis for two athletes who have made some dead ends on the ground work this winter.

When asked if they won’t miss it for the Worlds, where the Sinkovic brothers (2016 Olympic champions in double sculls and 2021 in coxless pair) will make their return, the two men show serenity. “We have automatic doubles which are very strong and I think we can be competitive in September”, summarizes Androdias. It remains a very distant issue. And more important than this weekend. Unless there are good surprises…

The Poznan World Cup finals will be followed on Sunday from 10:05 a.m. on L’Équipe live.

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