France’s Stéphane Tardieu has vowed to be mentally stronger ahead of the 2015 World Rowing World Championship to make up for the disappointment of coming second in last year’s event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The London 2012 silver medallist has missed out on gold at three consecutive World Championships in the Trunk and Arms (TA) Mixed Double Sculls event and hopes 2015 will be different, especially with it being held on home waters in Aiguebelette, France.
“Unfortunately in Amsterdam because of a bad start, and despite the efforts to come back, it was impossible to get back the last seconds,” said the 44-year-old. “It was a real disappointment and it took a few weeks to accept the result and re-find the motivation to come back to intensive training.”
With victory the aim in 2015, Tardieu is currently in pre-season training which involves daily sessions on the water, supplemented by weightlifting in the gym and general fitness training.
Whilst his rivals may be full-time professionals, Tardieu has to juggle working full-time with family commitments and training. This often means training early in the morning or late in the evening.
Tardieu said: “It’s important to realise that we are amateur athletes and so we have to combine work, family, with the high-level training. It’s a daily challenge!”
Tardieu is also aware of where his main competition in the TA Mixed Sculls will come from in 2015.
“For now it’s the Australians who are the world champions.
“We remain very attentive to all the others countries, because we know that some nations are preparing boats which could be very dangerous competitors at the time of the Games.”
Embracing the challenge presented by training and full-time employment, Tardieu is hopeful of success in 2015 and has been working on the mental as much as his physical side.
“We still work on our technique to be more and more precise,” he said.
“We also show more attention to mental preparation on the management of the stress during the competition.”
Tardieu’s first major race of this season will be May’s World Cup event in Gavirate, Italy. He will then take part in the World Championships in Aiguebelette, France, between 30 August and 6 September.