Boris Nevo, world champion in rowing: “I once again convinced myself to be No. 1”

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Kayaker Boris Neveu, world slalom champion, competes from Saturday to Monday in Vaires-sur-Marne to verify his place in the France group this season during the national selections. The key is to ensure participation in the upcoming European and World Championships. At the age of 36, Bagnérais wants to take full advantage, making the most of everything he can, without losing sight of his goal for the Paris 2024 Games.

That world title that was taken last September, it’s a great turnaround, isn’t it?

Last summer at the Tokyo Olympics, I was in good shape, I thought I could have won a medal, but I missed the final (seventh)… I didn’t feel physically well. At the World Championships in Bratislava (Slovakia), I was also good and thought to myself: “There, we have to score!”. Being back on the podium in the World Championships with Marseille and gold around your neck is good. From experience, I know this doesn’t happen every day.

Compared to your first world title in 2014, does this title have a special feel?

It’s hard to compare, but by chance, it’s been a long time since I won an international race. In recent years, you’ve often been on the podium here and there at the World Cup… It makes you think, you’re starting to think about the fact that maybe your career is way behind you now. So there, I received a huge morale boost, nothing finished! Perhaps the best years still lie ahead until Paris 2024.

“The best years may still be ahead”

We feel like you’re back, with this young ambition first…

I’m in the proper international bandwagon, so it’s up to me to play the shots with precision, and to believe in my abilities. I convinced myself again that I was #1, and that it was still possible. At the World Championships, there were all gratins including Olympic medalists so it wasn’t at a discount. The Paris Olympics are shorter, 3 years old, so you don’t have to hang around, you have to show off.

After two years of games, what are we looking for in season?

Simply the results. We have to hang on, I have two and a half years into my career and I want to take advantage of it to say to myself when I stop: “I did everything possible to get medals and have fun.” A place in the Games cannot be won before six months before the start of the competition. We’re already in that perspective, it’s a long-term job.
You are approaching the extension of your career.

Is it less weight to know that after Paris, your retirement date has already been set?

(smiles) I’m lucky to be able to do what I do. I actually missed the World Youth Championships thinking they weren’t that bad. In hindsight, it’s still a bit dumb because you didn’t do 20 at age either! I don’t want this kind of thing to happen again. I am so excited to push the machine to the limit.

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