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It was with a lot of excitement that I took the road to Pau for the first freestyle competition of the year and overall for the selection for the 2011 world championships.

So on Thursday, March the 17, I leave at 11 p.m the city of Grenoble with all my friends and the four young people that I have been training !

All crammed into the 4X4 we follow on the hours, to finally arrive, all very tired, to the whitewater stadium of Pau, after 12 hours driving !

When we discover the roller, excitement and aprehension are suddenly muddled up ; indeed, the basin is powerfull and the roller requires a lot of technique and reactivity.

Error would be disastrous since there’s almost no room to eskimo roll before the next roller from which you can’t come back.

Training was difficult with figures’ sequences not always very fluid. My loops touched the bottom of the basin, and my Phoenix monkey were not always perfect .

But after a good night's sleep everything should be going well!

On Saturday, March the 19 it’s the beginning of the qualifications, so stress goes up a notch with highly motivated competitors like Amelie Bruet and Nouria Newman. The fight sounds fierce : air loop, cartwheel to splitwheel, entry move … the figures follow on for the girls.

I ended first of the qualifications with the desire to surpass myself for the finals.

On Sunday, March the 20; D-Day ! The final approaches, the speaker fire up the crowd and I start my first run ... too much pressure and I finish third. "Let it go Marlène or…" I know that the second run will be decisive, so I give everything : Air Loop, Space godzillla, cartwheel, splitwheel and Phoenix monkey.

I get a lot of pleasure sailing, and my figures are fluid ! Phew !

The speaker announces a 475 points run which assures me the first place.

That's it I can rest, I have achieved my goal! A gold medal and overall, a qualification to the World Championships in Plattling!

Thanks to the organizers and judges who have turned this weekend into an amazing competition with an atmosphere of madness!

See you soon on the water!

Marlène

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