Thursday, August 13, 2009

DAY 5: The finish line much closer than yesterday

Today is definitely the hottest day yet. We're estimating it's about 34 degrees. The air con is set to 29 degrees and feels relatively cool. Thankfully we did both sessions this morning because I think I'd expire if expected to scull out there now, although to be honest the sculling is the best bit as at least you get a bit of wind chill.

We seem to be getting better by the day, which is encouraging as we weren't bad to start with. Our coach is certainly making positive noises anyway. I'm still having to focus really hard but the payback is worth it. However, I think some of the slight ease on the mind today is due to the Worlds entries being announced yesterday. There are only 6 crews - 6. This is a very significant number as it means a straight final. This is not what we wanted.

What they say is true - the victory is sweeter the harder you have to fight for it (not that I'll be complaining when the time comes but that feeling will pass quickly). For the past 2 months we've been preparing ourselves for a heat on the Monday, a potential but avoidable rep on the Weds and then the final on the Sun morning. Now we're looking at a race for the lane order on the Weds morning followed by racing exactly the same people again on the Sunday in the final. This means two things; firstly, that victory is not as sweet as everybody made the A final but also - and this is even more horrendous to think about - not medalling becomes an even bigger disappointment as there were only 3 crews to beat to do so. Not that doing that is going to be easy. For a start we have the USA, Canada and Germany in the mix, all of whom are going to be fast. Looking at times in previous races/ trials, it's going to be a race for the line - literally. It was always going to be close but this is going to be a real test of who really has it - the skill, the strength and, most of all, the desire to win so much that they are prepared to push themselves further than they ever thought themselves capable. And that's a dark place I can't even begin to contemplate right now.

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