Alvaro Fiuza and Walter Bouzan are second in the Oklahoma World Cup
Alvaro Fiuza and Walter Bouzan are second in the Oklahoma canoeing world championships in the K2 Marathon modality. Here we leave you all the chronicle written directly by Alvaro Fiuza.
“The days before, the previous nerves already began, but those that you like, that grow instead of diminishing you. The night before was good, so much so that I slept for 9 hours... I had a hard time getting off the sheets. Breakfast as always: Juice, oatmeal, toast, fruit, and for dessert call the family, the best carbohydrates before competing are Laura and the little ones…
We left the hotel a couple of hours before to review the equipment and fill the pacifiers with mineral salts, this time they were going to be a fundamental part of the race. An hour before we started with the warm-ups, hydration and stretching, that is, under a good shade since the sun was very hot. We left only 15' to control the boats and get sensations in the water, I felt comfortable that I hadn't had all year.
At 12:30 p.m. the start was given, the madness of the first two laps began, struggles to get the best position, inevitable blows, sounds of carbon breaking, shouts of authority... We placed behind watching the panorama and waiting for the tension to drop before taking action. We have to pull sooner than expected and go on to score, that did not stop and the first portage was approaching, even above we had to take the drink bag before entering to portage, essential to be able to hold out until the fourth round without entering through the refreshment area.
We managed to give a strong pull, we went on to score to arrive among the first to carry, the hydration plan began. We had decided to take salts out and go in only once to get another bag, when we usually do it three times. We had to take risks, going in to drink penalized time, but the day called for a lot of liquids, that did not make us change our thoughts and we decided to continue what was discussed.
At the first portage we got twelve boats, so the following laps will continue to be tough. The selection of the leading group is becoming very slow, the portages pass and in each one, someone from the leading group falls. Five canoes enter the fourth portage, it's time to drink, Bikertt-Low's boat hinders us when entering the refreshment area, receiving a blow to my head, but let's save well and we manage to grab the last bag of drink that we are going to use.
The jerks are getting worse in the front group and the pursuers do not stop trying to link up. In the sixth round, the 2nd South African boat remains, leaving 4 boats in front of the race: two Spanish, South African and Hungarian boats. My head begins to hurt, only 30 minutes into the race and the medals are close, I start to think about an article I read in Triathlon magazine, the "Ironwar", although here we were four instead of two and those companions could change what happened in previous years with the two Spanish tours…
Summarizing: In previous years Merchan-Ivan had deprived us of gold, just like Dave Scott had deprived Mark Allen of the Kona ironman. We wanted to achieve what Allen achieved in that year of 1989, to beat his black beast.
The last lap is approaching, Walter tells me that he is very cramped, the drink strategy did not work 100%, but I tell him that I am whole and calm down, we can mess it up. We reach the eighth and last lap, everything is going according to plan, we reach the last straight scoring, we manage to defend the position and run with the South Africans, but an uneven portage for the Merchan-Iván line causes them to go to the ground, crashing Emilio with Walter in his fall, the South Africans fought and landed first, everything changes, the two favorite riders fight for victory, but this time there was another one at the party, it's as if in 89 Allen only thinks of Scott and vice versa and , a Raña arrives and wins over both, what would happen? … I don't know!
In this case… they were better in the sprint than us, they only separated us by 670 thousandths from McGregor-Mocke and we took 210 thousandths out of Merchan-Iván. It is clear that it was not the "Ironwar", but I thought of it to encourage myself, in my eagerness to win that magnificent man from Merchan-Iván, and yes! We won it, but it wasn't enough, there was another, better place.
Anecdotes aside, I received many messages from experts in this distance, telling me that it had been the best k2 race they had ever seen, so it was not the “Pirawar” but it was a great spectacle for the lovers of this sport.
What comes after this silver... I can't speak for Walter... but I personally would like to win gold in the marathon again, both in a European and a World Cup, will I get it? I don't know, it will be very, very difficult... But I'll try, don't hesitate.”