The French team on tiptoe.

We cannot say that the French Athletics team is arriving with fanfare in the countries of university sport. Since the London Worlds in 2017 with three titles (5 medals in all), the balance sheet is very weak on the French side. Two medals in Doha (silver for Bigot in the hammer and bronze for Martinot-Lagarde in the 110m hurdles) and a single charm at the Tokyo Olympics with silver for Kevin Mayer in the decathlon. Only Quentin Bigot, the hammer thrower, world number 3 landed in Eugene (Oregon), seems to be one of the greatest chances of a French medal. Despite everything, the 2019 vice-world champion, returned from suspension for doping, does not want to present himself as the leader of the Blues.

For the rest, it is once again misery in the face of countries like the United States or Jamaica which monopolize the best places in the queen disciplines of Athletics. Especially in the sprint where we do not see who could, on the French side, come and tickle the points of these two nations. Mouhamadou Fall single small chance? Not sure since he did not know how to follow the location protocol for anti-doping controls and who could ultimately go home before even having set foot on the track.

Perhaps Sasha Zhoya with her 13 »17 in the 110m hurdles and who is constantly improving? “Of course I want to be on the podium. The final will be my comfort zone, where anything can happen. To be world champion, it will be necessary to run in less than 13 seconds I think, it will be hot. After the junior championships last year, I discovered another world here, much more serious. There, it’s another world, it forces me to adapt this way of life. warns the young man. Benjamin Robert? the Toulousain, remains on ten podiums in as many 800 m this season. But will that be enough? Ultimately, only Kevin Mayer could once again respond to the call for medals, if he does not experience any physical problem, of course. Finally Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (110 m hurdles) could, we never know, get closer to the podium.

But beyond the sad sporting record, the French Athletics Federation (FFA) is overwhelmed by internal problems and even recently by cases of doping and violence. The FFA has also suffered departures and multiplied reorganizations to manage the high level. The most recent: the establishment in early 2022 of a duo with, in the role of National Technical Director, Patrick Ranvier, who has worked in rowing and ice sports in particular, and in that of High Performance Director, Romain Barras, ex-decathlete in the federal fold since 2017. Games (of Paris). It’s a chance. It will allow us to determine our potential for the next major deadlines, in the short, medium and longer terms », explains me DTN who somewhere must also cross his fingers at two years barely an Olympics in Paris.


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