The meeting after the preliminaries of the helmsman of the uncle-class girl who was trained to cry-the story behind the bronze medal of the eight-person women’s boat
Source: China Sports News
Author: Chen Sitong/Wen Lulin/Picture
From the 1988 Seoul Olympics to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was delayed by one year, the Chinese women’s eight-person single oars and helmsman project regained their position on the Olympic podium. It took 33 years.
Anyone who knows rowing knows what the eight-person single oars means in a rowing competition. If the single-handed boat represents the height of a country’s rowing sport, then the eight-person boat is the embodiment of the thickness of a country’s rowing sport. The origin of the boat race also started from the eight-man boat.
Standing on the podium, the eight girls and their helmsman, Zhang Dechang, who had participated in the Beijing Olympics, finally smiled happily. “This is the best result.” Zhang Dechang said.
Once practiced “three crying a day”
One night in the Spring Festival of 2020, in the WeChat group of the Chinese Rowing Team, 8 girls collectively asked: “When can I eat the big drumsticks and big eggs?” They have just completed the “peak week” of the training load as planned. The rowing training distance reached 270 kilometers (equivalent to the distance of 135 official boat races), in addition to 32 hours of physical training.
Eight-man boat training is recognized as the number one “abuse” in rowing events, and the whole world is “walking up” with high intensity and heavy exercise. In the 2019 Rowing World Championships, the Chinese women’s eight-man boat won the seventh place. The fundamental reason is that it is clearly behind the opponent in terms of basic ability. Simply put, the training is not enough. Subsequently, the Chinese team hired Hammet, the coach who led the American women’s team and the German men’s team to the eight-man boat world championship. Sure enough, when Hammert became the head coach of the Chinese women’s eight-man boat, the first thing he did was to increase the amount of training. In his first week on the team, he practiced crying for the girls, and he cried three times a day.
Hammet and the women’s eight singles coaching staff firmly believe that if they want to defeat their opponents in future games, they must first surpass their opponents in training load and complete their physical fitness reserves before they can achieve a leap-forward improvement in performance. Miao Tian is the big sister in the team. She feels that she has changed a lot during that time. “Accept and make changes to adapt, and the quality of training will naturally be there.” Miao Tian said. She feels that she does not have enough time every day. After training, she will make up for her shortcomings, as well as treatment, stretching, and relaxation. With the deepening of preparations, the confidence and self-confidence of the women’s eight singles have been built up little by little.
The old helmsman who “endures hunger”
Many people are curious. There are obviously eight people on the single oars, but nine people on the podium. The Chinese team is even more interesting. This ninth person is still a “uncle” of the coaching level. Surrounded by eight girls, Zhang Dechang smiled extremely happily.
The English abbreviation for rowing eight-person boat is 8+, and this “+” represents the helmsman. Because the rowing boat is rowing back to the finish line, the helmsman must command this huge “aircraft carrier.” The helmsman is called “aquatic conductor”. In the competition, the main role of the helmsman is to control the rhythm, grasp the direction, and at the same time provide technical and spiritual support to the oarsmen.
Zhang Dechang, born in 1978, didn’t expect to be the helmsman of the national eight-man boat again. In September 2019, the eight-man boat research team was established. He joined as a coach. But not long after, the passion of the Chinese rowing team preparing for the Tokyo Olympics reignited his dream, so he returned to the boat that had been on the boat for more than 20 years. Familiar with the position, he served as the helmsman of the eight-person women’s boat. Since he wanted to get good results in the Olympics with the oarsmen, he also had to adjust himself to the best condition, so he began to lose weight silently.
Take one hour of treadmill or bicycle exercise every morning, 30 minutes of waist and abdominal muscle fat loss training; hardly eat any desserts, eat a full breakfast, lunch is mainly vegetarian, do not eat most of the time for dinner, drink water when you are hungry. In this way, relying on “enduring hunger” and doing a lot of exercise, Zhang Dechang lost 13 kilograms, so that his face was sunken and he looked older than his actual age. He felt sorry for the girls and was unwilling to let them bear more than 0.1 kilograms. In addition to being a helmsman, he is also responsible for a lot of extra work, such as collecting training data, blood samples, assisting the coach with team affairs, etc. He often has to be busy until 12 o’clock in the night to fall asleep. Zhang Dechang said: “The team members go out before dawn every day and come back at around 7pm. The women’s eight-person boat can walk a little more than 10 meters with one oar. How many oars do you need to paddle for 62 kilometers of water training! Compared to their hard work. , What can we do if we get up early and sleep for a while? We are a team!”
Reverse pressure to win
This women’s eight-single team was only reorganized in May this year, and many of its members were integrated from other boats, such as Wang Yuwei, who was previously in the scull group. Many people have doubts. With only a few months away from the qualifying round, can Wang Yuwei be able to make such a big transfer? After discussion, the team agreed that as long as the basic abilities are strong enough and the physical stamina is good enough, they can quickly integrate after the integration. The game has fully proved this. On May 5th, the men’s and women’s eight singles formally formed a team to prepare for the qualifying round. The coach encouraged everyone, “You are the boats that we focus on. You have the hope to stand on the podium and are competitive.” The girls With this kind of encouragement, the girls were confident that they passed the qualifying rounds and qualified for the Olympics. The last time the women’s eight singles appeared in the Olympics was in 2004.
In the preliminaries of the Tokyo Olympics, the girls played just so well. From the skills to the cooperation, they all felt a lot worse than before. After the preliminaries, the team immediately held a meeting. In addition to the Chinese coaches and foreign teachers, the players themselves also actively participated to analyze the problems and find the reasons. Hammet used the data to analyze the speed structure in time. In the wild card match, the girls have changed, the paddle frequency is more reasonable, and the coordination is more tacit. In the finals, all the energy they had accumulated before exploded. Under tremendous pressure, they attacked the medals in the most critical stage and successfully climbed onto the podium.
Hammet finally fulfilled his promise to “bring the girls on the podium”, and he breathed a long sigh of relief. From “being practiced crying” to “cry training” to “smile and proud”, the girl was trained with a lot of exercise. We were reborn and used our sweat to forge this precious bronze medal. For Zhang Dechang, this full dinner tonight is the most luxurious thing. (Reposted from the 04 edition of China Sports Daily on July 31)