Fri, September 20, 2013

Taekwondo loss cuts like knife for Sergerie

By ALAIN BERGERON, QMI Agency


Canadian Karine Sergerie is defeated by Franka Anic of Slovania during the quarterfinals of the Women's -67kg Taekwondo during the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, England August 9, 2012. Dave Abel/QMI Agency


LONDON - Investing so much energy in her “internal struggle” put an end to Karine Sergerie’s quest for a second consecutive Olympic medal.

Despite suitable physical and mental preparation, according to her, the intensity of the Games messed up the plan of the taekwondo Olympic runner-up.

“Of course I am disappointed. Because I did not win a medal? No, rather because I did not fight the way I wanted,” admitted the 27-year-old athlete, very moved.

Unclear in her explanations, after this defeat in her second fight, Sergerie mentioned several times that she had trouble dealing with the pressure. In her first combat she won 1-0, then lost to Slovenia’s Anic Franca, six inches taller than the 5-foot-5 Quebec athlete. But the physical disadvantage does not explain this bad memory she is bringing back home.

“Before my first fight, I was extremely motivated, but when I talked to my coach just before it started, I felt all my energy leave. I told myself it was not the first time I experienced that and I decided to deal with it. The adrenaline may have helped me in the first fight, but I had the same problem in the second fight and it prevented me from doing what I wanted.”

The 27-year-old athlete did not want to expose the health problems she faced in the last two years, but it prevented her from training the way she wanted. She said time and time again that her physical preparation was not to blame. Her “internal struggle” made her unable to perform at the level required in a competition with the world’s best 16 athletes.

Was Karine Sergerie defeated by herself?

“Once you are in the competition, that’s what happens. You feel physically ready, you have your training and no regrets, but you always struggle internally. You have to push away the doubts, I won’t lie. it is very difficult, more so considering the long waiting times. Before my first fight, I was so nervous it hurt,” she admitted.

This difficult day is the conclusion of a different journey than the one to Beijing’s podium.

“When you never get the opportunity to compete in one tournament at your peak, you do not feel dominant afterward and your confidence wavers. Then, if the unexpected happens during the fight, all your plans can crumble,” explained Alain Bernier, her coach.

“Of course she is disappointed. I held her in my arms and I told her I was proud of all she accomplished.”