There was a queue this afternoon in the mixed zone to take pictures with the first medalists of the Spanish expedition at the Szeged Canoeing World Championship. Half an hour passed just between the gold of Alberto Pedrero and Pablo Graña in C2-200 and the bronze of Sete Benavides Toni Segura on C2-500 (tests that will not be Olympic in Tokyo 2020). "It gave us time to see them, on the TV of the jetty, before going to the exit," says Benavides who, ten minutes after finishing the test – with a spectacular comeback – has not yet caught his breath. “Two medals in half an hour is something spectacular for the Spanish canoe. We need this, we need people who push, come from behind, who want to win, ”he adds.
And from behind come young people strong. As Pedrero and Graña, champions in C2-200 (ahead of the Poles and the Uzbeks) although it took a while for them to realize that they had won. They crossed the finish line without making any gesture while the Spanish fans did not stop screaming. “It is that we had no idea what had happened, we did not know how we had arrived. I had the Poles next to me, but just when I looked to the right I saw a lot of ships … ”, Pablo says. “We realized when we saw the screen (there are several placed along the track) that it was focusing on us. I told Pablo: ‘I think we won,” says Alberto. They won from 0.12 to the Poles (third were the Uzbeks to 0.36).
The two are already more than a promise for the Spanish canoe. Graña, 20 years of Cangas, was silver at the beginning of August in the U-23 World Cup in Pitesti (Romania) in C1-200. Pedrero, 23 years of Aranjuez, was silver in the same discipline the previous year. Alberto began rowing with 8 years at Club Aranjuez. “For doing some sport… and that was one of the most common in Aranjuez. The Tagus passes by and there is a lot of hobby. Every time I went to more, I began to compete at regional level, then national, and here we are ”, he says. “In Cangas there is also a lot of hobby. Some friends took me to try with 11 years and here I am ”, adds Pablo.
They changed distance and started shoveling together in C2-200 in May. “This medal is a icing on the season; It started complicated because we both started training the 1000 meters and we stayed a little long and there are many good people in addition. We started with 200 and decided to ride together for C2: we decided to bet everything there giving up C4 although we had good chances. The bet went well, ”explains Pedrero. "We lagged in the 1000s and did what we do better than speed," adds Graña.
Nor did Benavides and Segura realize that they had won a medal. They had a good first part of the race, lowered the pace in half, and traced back to bronze in the final part (behind Chinese and Hungarians). “I did not even know what position we were going to, when we threw ourselves (that's what they call the finish line) and we saw that we were between third and fourth, I said: it can't be, I don't believe it,” says Segura. I didn't believe it because the World Cup didn't start in the best way for them. “This medal tastes like glory, gold and everything because it has cost us a lot since day one. In the series we were out of direct access to the final: we thought we were not doing well. At least until the semifinal, where we are better. And today we have done the race we had to do, ”he adds.
And how do you change the chip after not getting the direct pass? “We think about the positive part: having to go through a semifinal can help us go more comfortable to find that perfect regatta we have to do. It has worked because today we have done it, ”says Segura. “We have gained strength from where we did not have. The final of a World Cup is paddled a few times and in Szeged maybe once in a lifetime. Being here is phenomenal, I have not seen anything similar or in a few Games … I did not listen to my breathing with the atmosphere that was in the stands, ”says Sete Benavides that this Saturday returns to compete (semifinals of C1-200). "But a beer today to celebrate this bronze is not taken away from me," he concludes.
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. (tagsToTranslate) spain (t) brand new (t) world medallero (t) (t) canoeing (t) gold (t) bronze (t) alberto pedrero (t) pablo graña (t) impose (t) c2-200 ( t) sete benavides (t) toni sure (t) traced (t) c2-500