AN UNEXPECTED SWIMRUN DRAMA
At ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship 2021 Team Ark France with Hugo Tormento & Matthieu Poullain were part of the favorites for the win.
The first time we got a glimpse of their potential was when the won ÖTILLÖ World Series 1000 Lakes in 2019. After that they followed up with a great win at ÖTILLÖ World Series Cannes in 2020 and kept turning out great performances at all races they started.
For the 2021 World Championship they prepared very well and spent time in Sweden on the course during the months leading up to the event. They were ready to give the others a run for the money.
In the lead bunch
From the beginning of the race Hugo and Matthieu was in the lead with a couple of other teams. Their biggest strength was in the water where they swam very fast and could relax. On the runs they raced smart and stayed together with the lead group with a plan to go for it after the middle of the race.
On Mörtö Klobb, just before the famous “Pig Swim” Matthieu did a small misstep and he immediately knew that something went very wrong in his foot. The pain was extreme and he screamed out. He hobbled to the water and got in and hoped it would go away during the 1400 meters of swimming. At the exit he could barely stand on the foot. He insisted on trying to continue when Hugo called for the Medics. They continued, one step at the time. They had more than 35 km to the finish line.
The goal was not to win anymore, it was to survive to the end.
Adrenaline & endorphines
Matthieu continued forward, a step at the time, encouraged by Hugo. They stayed very fast on the swims and picked up speed on the runs. The endorphines released from the pain created a laser-sharp focus with the only goal to get to the finish line as soon as possible.
Matthieu and Hugo finished third and became the fastest foreign team in the 15-year history of ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship.
Here you can find an interview in French for Swimrun France with the two of them about their race.
Matthieu suffered from a fracture in his foot. He is still recovering from the injury. Hugo who is ready to race will race with a Max Andersson for the 2022 season.
We sincerely wish Matthieu a healthy recovery and cannot wait to see him back on the circuit again.
This is their film.