The French Water Polo team in Mallorca trains for Paris 2024
While I would like to spend the rest of this column talking about golf, most of this sports news of the week concerns water polo. Not horses in wet fields, but giants throwing yellow balls around a swimming pool.
But with everyone’s favorite golf tournament, the Ryder Cup, this weekend at one of my favorite spots in the US, Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, the rest of the sport events in the world will only have to wait until Monday.
After the Solheim Cup drama in Ohio earlier this month, we can only hope for a return to the glory years of the 80s and 90s when the Ryder Cup was desperately contested and there were tears and tantrums.
The one point to remember for every weekend hacker is this wise advice from Nick Faldo, who usually says “It was a good shot! “ when a celebrity plants one in the trees during a Pro-Am. They scowl at him and he says that was exactly where you were aiming, so what were you expecting?
So his number one tip for improving your golf game is to align yourself correctly. Remember that when you remove the five woods from your Mallorcan favorite walk.
Meanwhile, the Marseille water polo team is on the island and taking advantage of the good weather to launch its new season. at the BEST Center. Marseille is the most dominant team in France with 38 national titles since 1960.
The star player is the two-time Serbian Olympic and world champion Andrija Prlainovic, who won gold in Tokyo this year. He is accompanied by world and European medalists from Montenegro and Croatia, playing alongside the best of France.
The French are very good at team sports involving a ball. At the Tokyo Olympics, France won the men’s gold medal and women’s handball, gold in men’s volleyball and silver and bronze in men’s and women’s basketball. Add that to their two World Cups and two euros and water polo is the odd one out.
Work to put this just before the Paris Games in 2024 is former Olympic swimmer and world bronze medalist Romain Barnier. As sports director of CN Marseille, his goal is to raise the level of sport in France.
“The last time France won a medal in water polo was in 1928,” he said. “We are the best in France, but not internationally. We can only improve the France team by bringing in the best from other countries and making sure every player improves, even the best. The minute you stop working to get better is the moment you lose the edge.
“As a club team we are now in the top eight in Europe and we want to be in the top four and then win the Champions League. If we do that then the national team will be a much higher level also.
So we’re here to bring all the guys together and focus on the new year. Came here a few years ago with the swim group and knew it was perfect place to do this.”
Barnier used to train the elite swimming group in Marseille which included Olympic champion Florent Manaudou as well as the swimmers who won gold in the 4x100m freestyle team in London 2012. As a sporting director he now works with 12 coaches from the swimming and water polo groups at Marseille where the club has around 4000 members.
“I like helping the coaches. I understand their emotions, their ambition, their loneliness. Athletes are still children, with passion, dreams and goals. Corn coaches are adults and the discussions are on a different level, dealing with real life issues and it’s much more complex.
The GB Open Water team arrive this weekend and hope the weather calms down at the start of the three years by bike until Paris 2024. The pool of potential medalists will be on the island for a week of intensive training, using the Olympic-size swimming pool and the crystal-clear waters off the city.
The end of September will see a change in the listening habits of sports fans at Colonia Sant Jordi. Peter and Marga lucas has been running the White Horse pub for 31 years and will be retiring at the end of the month. No more scarves from Kettering Town.
No more Cant del Barça echoing over the square. No more beef in curry and fries in front of the Champions League. We wish you both a very happy retirement.