Spanish water polo begins the countdown to the Paris Olympic Games

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Spanish water polo begins the countdown to the Paris Olympic Games

With exactly six weeks left until July 26 the Olympic dreams are lit in the cauldron of Paris 2024 Spanish water polo is clear about itself, seeking to continue the French event with a great race in recent years. with its two teams usually grouped together to fight for medals in major tournaments.

This Friday, the two experienced a joint performance at CAR in Sant Cugat. Olympic preparations will mean that for a few days they will go their separate ways to continue their preparations, different but with the same goal of leading them to star in a month and a half at the French event.

The women face this road to Paris as current Olympic runners-up, current world bronze medalists and current European runners-up. Since Olympic silver in Tokyo, a world silver and a bronze and a European gold and a silver have capped another four brilliant years for Miki Oca’s team, with only the long-awaited Olympic gold remaining as a big challenge. As has been the norm in recent years, the combination of experience and youth is the chosen formula to try to successfully carry out this challenge.

The men’s path has been spectacular, finishing fourth in Tokyo three years ago and coloring their path to Paris with a world gold and two bronzes and a European gold and a bronze. The French event will give the generation led by David Martín from the bench the chance to complete the treble of victories in their locker, a dream as elusive as it is. A very good generation will try to make it happen, with a block with many championships behind it that knows itself very well.

The two teams are training separately these days at CAR in Sant Cugat. In fact, the United States women’s team is also preparing there, a big challenge for the Spanish team and where they share some training matches, a situation that has become common in the preparation of both in the last major contest.

Within days, the two teams were going their separate ways. The men will continue in CAR until next week, when they will visit the United States for joint training. A preparatory tournament in Italy with the transalpine team, Greece and Croatia will be another good test. The women, meanwhile, will take their next step with a concentration at altitude in the Sierra Nevada to continue their training.

Both teams face the final stage with the highest ambitions. “We are excited,” explains Paula Crespí. “We are where we want to be and we want to work and enjoy this process,” said the Sant Andreu player, after an exhausting season at club level. It ended a few days ago, but on the scale of a summer dream, it’s come a long way.

“We face the Olympic event with the same enthusiasm as always,” said captain Pili Peña, who is ready to lead the team for the fourth consecutive Olympic Games. “Yes, it’s true that you have more responsibilities now and you’re more aware of everything than when we started,” laughed the Madrid native, who saw from the front line the progressive renewal the team experienced in recent times.

Pili is looking to compete in his fourth Olympic event; Paula has established herself after working for many years and, despite her experience in the team, she wants to be the first. “We have a combination of seniors and youngsters who are quite stable,” said Peña to highlight one of the strengths of the Spanish team. “We are doing very well to face this preparation,” he added.

From this combination between the enthusiasm of young women and the experience of the hard core, Spain aspires to once again star in a new Olympic event. The United States with which it shares preparation these days will be one of its rivals in the first phase, like Italy, Greece and France. It is, in other words, a group in style where, starting next July 27, they want to perform in a big way to expand their right to dream.

In search of the most desired revenge

The men’s team also achieved that possibility, with a spectacular cycle as a letter of introduction to try to avenge in a few weeks the bitter fourth place suffered at the Tokyo Games three years ago. This competition is the only one since 2018 where Spain has finished outside the medals, a sign of the good moment the Spanish team is going through.

The team knows that work is the key to maintaining that dynamic. “We arrived with our batteries fully charged,” Sergi Cabanas said. “We had a few days of rest and a voluntary start of training with almost all the players. We know what we have to do this summer,” he highlighted the commitment of the Spanish team, which lives in These Games include the common desire to fight for the podium.

He worked hard for it. “This cycle has been very long and very difficult and we want to end it in the best possible way,” said Sergi. “We’ve been playing for a long time and that informs the group of tactics and ideas that David wants to convey, so we make small adjustments,” he stated.

In fact, 2024 has a European Championship and a World Cup which has made the selection very wide in the last few months. “But we want to compete and this year we have absolutely everything, so we come with enthusiasm and the desire to do well,” said Bernat Sanahuja.

The Barceloneta player does not consider that the season full of matches will be a problem when facing the final stage towards the Games. “Physical preparation is different. The European and World Cup breaks are difficult for coaches to manage, but I think they did well and we arrived at a good time,” he reflected. “In addition, we have a little week to disconnect and now we have reached one hundred percent,” he warned.

Australia await next July 28, with Hungary, Serbia, Japan and France the next stops. The team clearly wants to reach the highest level in the last station in Paris. Therefore, like girls, she continues to work hard in long training sessions with the desire that her ticket will be a passport for the dream trip to the Olympus of the podium.

Source: La Verdad

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