The player from Alicante, together with the Canarian Sara Díaz, was declared the world champion of women’s doubles in Denmark. She assures that the myth that it’s a sport for the elderly isn’t true, that it’s trendy and that anyone trying to play the game will definitely have fun.
Aurelia Blázquez Ruiz “Aure” (Alicante, 13 April 1970) He started playing petanque when he was very young, barely eight years old. between La Tombola neighborhood and from a family with a tradition of pétanque. His father, Damian Blazquez, was a prominent actress in the province of Alicante and Spain, her mother, sister and brother also played. She married in 1994 and left him for 13 years because she wanted to be a mother and devote herself to her family. He returned in 2007 and international successes began to come.
He became the bronze in the European Trios Championship held in Slovenia in 2010, the European champion in Turkey in 2014 and the world champion in Thailand in 2015.. She won the women’s doubles world champion in Denmark last Sunday. it happened Two-time champion of Spain and a member of the Club League. He went to live in France for a personal and emotional affair and also succeeded. Two silver and one bronze medals in the European Club Cup.
How did you start playing petanque?
My father was already playing when I was born. Petanque has always been a family tradition. I started playing when I was eight years old, my brother and my mother also played. I came to team up with my mom and sister. Every Sunday, we played tournaments in all provinces and districts of the province. It was a tradition and a weekly act of coexistence.
He was the European and World champion. After a long hiatus, she returned to the top of the podium at an international competition. Was it special?
Special. After winning the world title seven years later, I thought I couldn’t win anymore. He had stopped going to the election. Three years ago I went to the Triplet World Cup in Cambodia and they knocked us out in the last 16. Two years ago at Almerimar, I lost in the quarterfinals to get medals in both singles and doubles. At 52, I thought I would never do it again, as they gave younger women more opportunities. Fortunately, they called me back and I was able to get this gold in doubletas..
Has there been a World Cup with many surprises?
Yes, France was without a podium for the first time in its history. It was played, as they say, on a pitch where you can shoot: by dragging, and that has done a lot of damage to favorites like the French Darodes, the previous world champion. Individually, Switzerland and Norway advanced to the final, which no one expected. I lost 13-11 to Thailand. It was a championship full of surprises.
However, in women’s doubles, Spain performed at a high level and signed a magnificent tournament…
Yes, we lost to the hosts Denmark, but from then on we won every game. We beat the favorites Thailand in the quarterfinals and clearly beat Italy and Malaysia in the final. We had a great tournament.
Did they see themselves as world champions when they beat Thailand?
The truth is if. After winning, we said we are here and we saw that we have great opportunities.
Spain also achieved a historic worldwide result with three medals and two championships at this World Cup…
Something incredible happened. With Javier Cardeñas and Sara Díaz in a world competition where the best players meet, getting two golds, our doubles and Jesús Escacho’s individual and silver mixed doubles, is a very difficult thing to achieve.
Also with young players like Jesús Escacho and Sara Díaz…
We have great young players who come out strong and deliver a great level. The future is guaranteed.
This shows that petanque is not a sport for the elderly…
Well… It’s always been said and that old people should play in the parks. We have many young people playing petanque. In the province of Alicante, great things are being done with monthly courses and trainings. There are many young people playing. Petanque is a trendy sport, as we’ve seen at this World Cup, where more countries are participating than ever before.
The problem is that it’s hard to make a living from petan…
No one lives on petantan. Neither in Spain nor abroad. Sometimes it helps you, but I know how it works in France, the cradle of the world pétanque, because I play there and great players work outside of pétanque. What happens is that most of them work in the town hall and for the rest of the week they are allowed to go out for competitions on Thursdays and keep their salaries.
You went to play in France. Was it for financial reasons?
No. It was a personal matter. I met a Monaco women’s coach and we started a relationship. At first he was distant, but eventually I went to France with him. I have a job there at a large plastic company for drug sterilization for hospitals. It was good for me too because I was able to raise my game level.
How can you combine it with petanque? How much time do you spend on education?
I do not train for a certain period of time. Fortunately, I work morning or afternoon shifts. When I get back from work, I try to train two or three times a week. I spend more time doing it with my friends but when I go out alone I spend an hour throwing a ball, which gives me a lot of time to throw a ball.
What would you say to people who have never played pétanque?
Let them play a game. If it can be with someone who knows and teaches them a little better, get three balls and let them play for a while. They will see how they are having fun and the bug will continue to play by biting them. Anyone who tries to play petanque eventually loves it.