Denis Gargod’s pick for international season: ‘Happy but not completely satisfied’

This applies to Denis Gargod (C1) who won Race 2 final on Sunday at the Ferris-sur-Marne Olympic Basin. Already winning the first race on Saturday, Olympic champion Rio (34) secured his selection to the French national team for the international season and won the national title before the end of the competitions (Race 3 on Monday).

“You confirm your choice from the second race, is that comfortable?
It was a job to do, and I’m happy with the way it went. Even if I was a little disappointed because of yesterday (Saturday), Nicholas Justin was in a better race. I wish I was in front of him at that time. Today, the course was more difficult, I was able to increase the speed and gain more time. I am happy, but not completely satisfied.

I was a little worried before the competition started. Are these races of choice still just as stressful?
I prepared well, did my best to come and train a lot here in Vaires-sur-Marne. But it’s always hard to know where you stand compared to the competition because you don’t know what the commitment of others is during face-to-face sessions in training. I did the job today, but joining the France team is not an end in itself, it’s a mandatory, difficult and exhausting pass, but the goal then is international.

“In theory, I want to do all the rounds of the World Cup. This is the last. After Paris 2024, it will be over, I want to enjoy it”

We see young people pushing at the door with a desire to shake up the hierarchy a bit. What do you think?
There are very good guys, promising, like Jules Bernardet and Nicolas Justin, and very good guys like Cedric Joly and Martin Thomas. (Forfeited for a broken wrist after being knocked over by a car the day before the competitions). The level in France has always been very high, but it is not to be confused with the international level. It’s not the same story. You have to go and defeat the aliens in the house. We tend to think that if we were strong in France, we would be strong internationally, but this is not true.

What are your main goals for the next season?
We’ll already sit down and think with Benoit (Peschier, his coach). Personally, I want to win everything. But I was challenged by the leaders of high-ranking French sport, who told me that I would not be able to win everything, and that I had to focus on the important things. Maybe I need to lower my goals a bit. European and world championships, of course, after that we will see the number of World Cup rounds. In theory, I want to do all of them. This is the last. After Paris 2024 it will be over, I want to enjoy it.

You finally implemented your new technique (changing the grip on the paddle depending on the tricks) today on a few portals. Did it work well?
I told myself I would choose simple options. The first purpose of coming here was to choose me and then prepare my technical project for international racing. Yesterday, the road did not fit her. But today, the course was more technical with the real areas where paddling could be by changing my grip an asset, on gate 15 and on the sequence of gates 16-17-18-19-20. In the first round, it almost cost me dearly. In the final, I did the same thing again, but with a short arm. I’m so glad I did and can’t wait to keep working. »

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