Algeria’s Fastest Rower Must Adapt to Unconventional Training Environment | Generation Rise


Sid Ali Boudina is Algeria’s
fastest ever rower. 26 years old,
he’s ranked amongst the best in the world
in the men’s single sculls. I see lots of positive
things in this sport I see the challenge. I think
that it’s a beautiful sport. It’s obviously very disciplined,
it gives you endurance. My ultimate dream now is to
see Algeria reach the highest level and win a medal at
the Olympics in Rio. The tenth largest country
on the planet, Algeria is the biggest territory
in Africa and the Arab world. In preparation for the games,
Sid Ali wants to race in a full speed time-trial
across 2km that replicates the Olympic event. But a time-trial requires
people and equipment, so Sid Ali needs Algeria’s Rowing
Federation to help him out. We’re going to the
Federation’s central offices to see the DTN – National
Direction of the National Squad. You always have to ask them
for authorisation to train. Sid Ali has co-ordinated his own
training regime throughout his career. The technical director can’t arrange for any additional staff
at short notice, but she’s happy for Sid Ali
to proceed. He is a serious person
in all aspects – work, education, we’ve got lots
of respect for him. He works hard. Determined to achieve gold, Sid Ali leaves to get his
training plan underway. What helped me to improve
in such a short time is that I don’t just want to be
African or Arab champion. My dream is to be
the world champion. Olympic Rowing has been much-loved
by spectators for more than 100 years, for its stroke-by-stroke drama
and nail-biting finishes. Contested across
14 different events, each race takes place over
a straight 2,000-metre course, with the first boat to cross
the finishing line winning. Of all the events,
the men’s single sculls is considered to be
the most challenging, because rowers must have
supreme balance to keep their super-light boats stable
and propel them to victory. Without a technical team, Sid Ali has arranged for his friends
to help him contest his time-trial. He wants to get started
before the wind rises, but they haven’t shown up on time. Hi, how are you? Look, I need you to come here
urgently for a couple of hours. I want you to follow me,
I’m going to test the 2,000 metres. You have to! You have to postpone
your work and come here. Please? Thank you. I want to improve my personal best, which is currently 7:08 minutes
and I want to make it 7:03. 7:03 might get me
onto the winners’ podium. One hour later,
Sid Ali’s friends arrive and the time-trial
can get started. The official timekeeper is
dropped off at the finish line to record Sid Ali’s speed
using the stopwatch on his phone. I’m going to start following
Sid Ali to give him a good push so he can be technically
as perfect as possible. At the same time, hopefully
he will reach his timing objectives. That’s the most important thing. We are here to help. Sid Ali, concentrate, OK? Relax! OK, start position. Go! Push back! Faster! Attack! Pushing through the water
at 4.5 metres every second, Sid Ali needs to maintain this speed
to set his personal best time. Keep your pace until the finish. Yes – like that! This is good, Sid Ali,
relax your shoulders. Focus on the other oar. There is some wind, but don’t worry. More effort! Give it everything! More, more! Stop! Tell me, what time did I make it in? Tell me what I got. 07.03.56. Thanks. Well done, Sid Ali! Congratulations, you deserve it. Sid Ali was top class,
he gave his best in this race. He was clearly ready for this test
to achieve his objectives. My friends’ help was great, especially their support
towards the end when tiredness takes its toll. Because of their support,
I have broken my personal best Nothing is impossible,
nothing is impossible! As long as you’re serious
at work, everything is possible.

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