The weekend’s competition is the official test event for the 2012 London Olympics and Joel Bouzou offered his comments on the event ahead.
“It is not only special as it is the last competition in the World Cup Series, but we can also test the system for the Games, so we are looking at it from different angles. The best athletes are here and it will be a great show.”
We know LOCOG has done a great job, the venue here is absolutely fantastic and we are really looking forward to a great event here.
The location is very special, it is what the founder of modern pentathlon Pierre de Coubertin deserved, to be in such an historical place, beautiful for several reasons, the house of the queen and also Greenwich meridian, it’s very symbolic.”
Peter Hart competition manager detailed the aspects that will be tested during the event.
“The venue itself has been very challenging, being in such an historic place, but equestrian has just been through three days of testing. For our riders, it will be one of the best riding surfaces that they will have been on. Other areas in testing will be the horses, as the horses may be used in the Olympics if they perform well.
As with all LOCOG test events, testing will be performed on results, timing and services so it is really a huge operation.
There is only one day to transition from the equestrian event to modern pentathlon. The other transition which is quite challenging will be the show jumping field of play transforming into the combined event. We only have half an hour to take out all the show jumps and put in the running course and results, timing and scoring. It will be an interesting experience tomorrow afternoon that will look more like a formula one pit stop.”
On the coming event:
“I’m glad to have qualified for this event, it’s one of the main events for me this season because on the one hand the first stop will be a direct Olympic qualification and secondly we’ll get a lot of points towards world ranking, so every position is worth the effort.
I think I’m quite well prepared. There are still some weeks to go in the season. I did my nails which I usually do for the big competitions, so I should say that I’m in the right mental state.”
On the new laser gun technology:
“We only had the laser for 6 months now. I’ve been working on that. I think it’s a little more different to me than the other athletes I spoke to, to do with certain details like breathing rhythm for example. I think I have much room for improvement but will work on that during the winter break in training.”
On the coming event:
“I’m feeling confident, the whole season has gone well for me so far, my health is good, my preparation is alright so I’m always focused upon the highest competition like the World Cup Final. I’m always glad to be here in England because I like this country and I am unusually successful here, like in 2009 in the World Championships, so I’m looking forward to competing tomorrow and I hope to enjoy it.”
On his recent status as world number one:
“It was one of my career targets and of course I told everyone at home that I was world number one because I knew it would not last very long. I will try to make enough points this weekend to get the high position in the world ranking.”
On competing on home soil:
“The last time I competed in front of a home crowd was really good at the World Champs in 2009 and it gave me a feeling of what it would be like, but this is going to be completely different. We’ve turned up here today and nerves have set in that this is a really big show. I always compete well at home and I think once I get down to it and relax, I’ll be able to compete well.”
On securing Olympic qualification:
“I only scraped through by the skin of my teeth last time so to get to the Olympics is actually just the first stage and with Jamie (Cooke) coming through in the last year, he is another athlete in contention for qualifying whereas before it was just myself and Sam (Weale) so we’ve got to think about getting big points now.”
The 2011 UIPM World Cup Final starts with the men’s competition at 9:00 at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Saturday 9 July.
The women’s competition also begins with the fencing discipline in Crystal Palace at 7:55 on Sunday 10 July.