In this fourth episode, she explains the need to swim fast in competition to build confidence, the technical details that save precious hundredths and that the first Olympic stress appeared with the question of tickets.

. Be fast at the Worlds

"There are a lot of new things in training and I'm not on my usual bearings. So I don't know if I'm on the right track or not. The goal is to swim fast at the Worlds in July. If we made a mistake, if we made a mistake, we can still correct it later. But I still want to swim very fast at the World Championships, under 56 seconds in the 100m butterfly. That is a goal. I would like to confirm my rank, make a medal, why not win the title. In any case, I would like to hit hard! My mental trainer asked me recently what would give me the best chance of winning in Paris. I think it would already be to win a year before. Winning is something important to me. Everyone builds their confidence in their own way but me, I am not someone who +perf'+ all year round and therefore I am often in doubt, never very serene. It's true that it also allows me to question myself, to analyze, but what confirms to me that I'm going in the right direction, it's still to swim fast. I need it."

. Hundredths and tenths

"So there are doubts. Are we on the right track? Are we going in the right direction? It is not three months before the Games that we will be able to make big changes and it is now that we are building the foundations. On the technical side, we started to work a little bit on the starts, the corners, etc. But things are not yet in place. At the moment, we are almost only working on endurance, but after March we will focus on that. The really important thing for me is the second cast. We started working on it and it's going to get better. I think that's something I can gain hundredths, or even tenths, which are important."

French swimmer Marie Wattel, silver medal in the 50m butterfly during the last European Championships, August 13, 2022 in Rome © Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP / Archives

. Tickets, the first stress

"In January I said to myself, +that's it, let's go, the race towards Paris-2024 is launched+. I was already thinking about it a lot. And then actually, I refocused on the present moment. The best preparation is to do the best you can every day, without necessarily projecting yourself so far into Paris. For now, there is not too much stress or apprehension. But it's true that I have expectations about the level of training. I tell myself that I have to pass a milestone now, that if I don't, I may not pass it in competition either. In September, on the other hand, I know that I will tell myself that it is the Olympic season. I'm also looking forward to being able to be 110% on what I like and focus on how to get the missing 1%. There will probably also be negative stress, the pressure of the Games, but for now it's fine. There was just the question of tickets. We will be entitled to two or four tickets per session where we swim. I have a big family, friends... I can't handle that for everyone and I didn't want to waste too much energy with it. It was a little stressful, though."

French swimmer Marie Wattel at the end of the last mixed relay of the 4x100m freestyle, won by the France, during the last European Championships in Rome, August 15, 2022 © Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP / Archives

Interview by Stanislas TOUCHOT

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