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European Multisport and Swimming Championships: the Blues seduce two years before the Olympics



He had warned that he would stop at “the slightest warning”. Touched to an adductor three weeks after his second title of world champion in Eugene (United States), the Frenchman Kevin Mayer logically withdrew from the tracks from the first test of the decathlon, Monday August 15. But even deprived of one of its sure values, the tricolor contingent continued to garner the charms at the European championships which bring together nine sports in Munich (Germany), until August 21. The French team now has 30 medals, including 9 gold, before, in particular, the finals of the 110m and 400m hurdles, the 800m and the hammer in athletics.

Track cycling paved the way

With eleven podiums including five gold medals, the Blues owe most of their success to the track, where French cyclists still had a good day on Monday August 15th. At the end of the last sprint of the points race, the young Donavan Grondin (21) won the European title in the Omnium. Clara Copponi took the same route for a long time in the women’s race, but suffered the consequences of the interruption of the race due to a fall involving other runners. The Frenchwoman left the German velodrome with the silver medal. Melvin Landerneau meanwhile dominated the kilometer event to win the first European title of his career.

A year after the disappointment of the tricolor clan at the Tokyo Olympics, Sébastien Vigier had acted, a day earlier, the revival of French track cycling by becoming European champion in individual speed, he who had no longer tasted such metal. since five years. The 25-year-old track rider nevertheless took advantage of the absence of the Dutch Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland, who came to the first two places in the event a year ago in Japan.

A title in table tennis, promises in climbing

Arrived in Munich as favorites, the French pair composed of Jianan Yuan and Emmanuel Lebesson got their hands on the final of the table tennis mixed doubles, Monday August 15, to bring the first title of the Blues in this discipline in thirty-two years. . The duo erases the bitterness of a fourth place at the last Olympic Games and a semi-final lost in 2021 at the European Championships, disputed annually, and ideally embarks on their preparation, supposed to take them to the Olympic gold in Paris, in two years.

If she has, on her side, all the rest of her career to shine, the climber Oriane Bertone can also aspire to a medal in climbing from the next Olympiad. At only 17 years old, the Frenchwoman won bronze on Sunday August 14 during the bouldering event, which consists of climbing a route at a low height. On Monday August 15, Frenchman Guillaume Moro also had his first international podium in the speed event, bringing the number of medals for the French delegation to four, before the combined events on Wednesday August 17 and Thursday August 18, including the new format tested in Germany will be retained at the Paris Games.

Other “Marseillaises” sounded, five times in the triathlon (swimming, cycling, running), where the mixed relay flew over the competition, Sunday August 14, or thanks to the French rowing women, Claire Bové and Laura Tarantola, reigning Olympic vice-champions and second in the lightweight double sculls. Far, however, behind Great Britain.

In Rome, the harvest of French swimming

Attached to the first European multi-sport championships four years ago, swimming is standing apart this summer for the organization of its European championships, which take place on almost the same dates (August 11 to 17) but in the pools from Rome (Italy). After the disappointment of not having kept her title of European champion in the 100 m butterfly, which she finally traded for a silver medal, the Frenchwoman Marie Wattel reacted immediately by successfully concluding the mixed relay of freestyle on 4×100 m, alongside Charlotte Bonnet, Maxime Grousset and Charles Rihoux, Monday August 15. The French team had already received gold in this category in 2018.

While several of the best French swimmers had chosen to skip Rome – only two months after the Worlds, where the phenomenon Léon Marchand, for example, was illustrated –, the Blues had still been able to count, the day before, on Analia Pigrée to win the 50m backstroke. Saturday August 13, the first French gold medal came from the 200 m backstroke thanks to Yohann Ndoye Brouard, after the French had already climbed on four podiums. Four others – all on the third step – were donated by artistic swimming.

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Women’s Euro 2022: Les Bleues fall from above against Germany



“It’s a sporting failure, we are far from our goal”. In 2019, after an elimination from the World Cup at home in the quarter-finals against the soon-to-be-champion Americans, the tricolor coach Corinne Deacon summed up the end of her players’ career in a rather lapidary way. The formula could be used again on Wednesday July 27 after the exit of the French in the semi-finals of the Euro, beaten 2-1 by the Germans.

Because they had repeated it before the meeting, the Blue ones: to be for the first time in the last four of the European championship was only a stage. “The goal is only on the trophy”, hammered captain Wendie Renard. The girls were “confident”, as if the victory in the quarter-finals against the Netherlands (1-0 after extra time), finally breaking the glass ceiling of the Bleues who have been limited for too long at this stage of the competition, was worth a passport for the future. Except that the Germans had a perfectly thought out plan against the France team.

Under German rule

The German scarecrow, however, no longer really impressed the Blues. Even if the selection from across the Rhine could claim a unique track record in European women’s football, with 8 continental titles crunched out of 12, unchallenged domination from 1995 to 2013, and no less than 99 goals scored in this event , the best of Mannschaft, it was said, was a thing of the past. Perhaps this reputation as a generation one step below has piqued the pride of German women.

Because they are the ones who entered the field with the bit between their teeth, applied to put the Blues under pressure, closing all the spaces, immediately jumping on the ball carrier. The duels? Overall to the advantage of the Germans. Possession of the ball? Same. From this grip, the Blues could not get rid of, deprived of ammunition and therefore unable to sustain their traditional breakaways on the wings. That the Germans materialize this superiority with a superb volley from their inevitable striker Alexandra Popp was anything but an injustice. That the Blues managed to equalize just before half-time on an opportunistic shot from Kadidiatou Diani proved to be rather well paid, however.

“Good for the future”

After the break, the Blues certainly existed a little more, the Germans gradually loosening their grip. It prevents. It was the Germans, and again by the inevitable Alexandra Popp, who found the net. Les Bleues have not given up, but this ” state of mind “, much praised by Corinne Deacon after the success against the Netherlands, was not enough to overthrow a Germany “powerful, athletic and efficient”, recognized the coach after the match. Nothing to say: the Mannschaft deserves its final at Wembley against the English on Sunday July 31.

For the France team, the disappointment is commensurate with the ambition. “But we built thingswanted to positive Corinne Deacon. There is a solid base, a very friendly, hard-working group that doesn’t like to lose. So it’s good for the future “. The coach can look to the future more calmly than after the failure of the World Cup which opened the door to devastating settling of accounts with some executives of the Blues. By renewing its workforce and betting on the new generation, it has partly won its bet, leading Les Bleues to the last four.

The performance is undoubtedly sufficient for the coach to be renewed at the head of the Blue until the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Still, the France team is still looking for its first international success, and this campaign in England has not raised considerable enthusiasm. Party postponed, no doubt, as the workforce of the Blue displays many promises. But part postponed anyway. And once again.

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Women’s Euro: Delphine Cascarino, the speed asset of the Blue



On the English lawn of Rotherham, in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Football Euro, the Dutch could think on Saturday July 23 that Delphine Cascarino occupied several positions under the blue jersey of the France team. The ponytailed winger was everywhere. In attack, in defense, in front, behind, on the right, on the left. Her speed, her activity and her fighting spirit made her opponents dizzy, defending champions and beaten by the smallest of margins (1-0).

Tireless, the attacker multiplied the overflows, dribbles and accelerations, but also the defensive withdrawals, on the two wings of the field, including during the extension which saw the Blue finally score, on penalty. During a match where the French shot on goal 33 times, she could have opened the scoring from the 27th.e minute of the game. But his shot hit the post defended by Daphne Van Domselaar, the Netherlands goalkeeper.

A player trained at Olympique Lyonnais

The 25-year-old player was trained at Olympique Lyonnais, like her twin sister Estelle, also international, but who was not selected for this competition. Daughter of a father of Italian origin and a mother from Guadeloupe, she still defends the colors of OL after taking her first steps as a footballer in Saint-Priest (Rhône), her hometown in the suburbs of Lyon. With this club, she won everything: six titles in the Champions League, seven in the French championship and four in the Coupe de France.

Delphine Cascarino has also stacked up successes with the French youth teams: victories at the Under-17 World Cup in 2012 and at the 2016 Under-19 Euro, final of the Under-20 World Cup years in 2016. She joined the “A” the same year, showing off the starting stripes in 2018 under the orders of Corinne Deacon, the current coach. She then landed in a group that remained on a series of four successive eliminations in the quarter-finals in major tournaments, in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In 2019, the attacker experienced the same disappointment during the World Cup organized in France. After five failures, the curse was lifted against the Dutch. Wednesday, July 27, in the semi-final of this Women’s Euro, this time it is the Germans who will see Delphine Cascarino split on the lawn of Milton Keynes.

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Women’s Euro: the Blues outclass the Italians 5-1 for their entry into the competition



The France team delivered a message of power for its entry into the women’s Euro, Sunday July 10 in Rotherham, rolling before half-time on an Italy team (5-1) burned by offensive sparks tricolors and the amazing Grace Geyoro, credited with a surprising hat-trick.

Les Bleues, expected at the turn, inflicted on the Italians the biggest card of the first day, even larger than the river scores achieved by the Germans (4-0), the Norwegians and the Spaniards (4-1) before them in start of the tournament.

The label of favorites did not seem too heavy to bear for the French, with their feet on the floor against the Italians overwhelmed by waves of attacks from the right, left and center.

big thrill

Barbara Bonansea’s team missed their chance when the Juve star winger missed their face-to-face with Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, guardian of the Imperial Blue Temple in front of her club teammate (4th).

Because after this big thrill, the Blues warmed the hearts of their supporters scattered around the small New York stadium, where some 8,500 fans had taken place, launching a fiery American quarter of an hour with goals signed Geyoro (9th) and Marie-Antoinette Katoto (12th).

The start could have hurt even more if the post had not repelled the attempt by “MAK” (15th) after a throw-in from Delphine Cascarino preceded by a roulette, small bridge and cross combo from Kadidiatou Diani, untenable on her right wing. “At one point, we didn’t believe it ourselves on the bench”smiled coach Corinne Deacon at half-time, surprised by the insolent success of her players.

The dream of a first title

Les Bleues had indeed secured the victory even before the second period, which started at 5-0. On the other hand, they eased off and conceded an avoidable goal from the incoming Martina Piemonte (76th), then were relieved by a save from Selma Bacha and a parade from Peyraud-Magnin in added time.

With this thunderous start, France sweeps away the skepticism born of two preparation matches without great adversity, against Cameroon (4-0) and Vietnam (7-0), and strengthens the position of its coach. “Not always judged at its fair value”Corinne Deacon “deserves the trust of the federation”supported the boss of the FFF, Noël Le Graët, in an interview with The Team and AFP before kick-off.

If the momentum generated on Sunday were to be confirmed, the future of Deacon would become even clearer. In the meantime, France fly over their group ahead of Iceland and Belgium (who drew 1-1 earlier on Sunday), with Italy bringing up the rear. And the dream of a first title, July 31 at Wembley, remains intact.

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At the Euro football championship, Les Bleues are aiming for a first major title



After the ripolining, the time of the consecration? It is a largely remodeled French football team which will set foot on English lawns in ten days for the next European Women’s Championship (from July 6 to 31). Exit Amandine Henry, the emblematic captain, Eugénie Le Sommer, the top scorer, or even Sarah Bouhaddi, the safe bet as goalkeeper. The last eighteen months have redesigned a wardrobe with more youthful features.

By force, one would be tempted to think, as the explanation does not seem to be to be found on the ground, where Amandine Henry, for example, was crowned European club champion with Lyon this season. The 30-year-old has especially paid for her public criticism of the coach, Corinne Deacon, whose mode of management of the group she had denounced in the fall of 2020 during the last World Cup, organized in France in 2019. Les Bleues had then left the World Cup from the quarter-finals, in a “utter chaos”,the midfielder was moved on Canal + : “I saw girls crying in their room, I was crying in my room. »

An exit which was added to several other criticisms, defender Wendie Renard pointing in particular to the “brutality” of the coach in a book published a few months after the failure of the World Cup. A new setback for a mature workforce, hunting for its first international trophy in a decade. Following the 2019 defeat, the coach stayed on and felt there was a lot to change. We can question it but we can also understand it, believes Yannick Chandioux, coach of Montpellier in the women’s first division. The team of 2015 and 2019 was collectively balanced, but it may have lacked strong individuals to make a difference. »

New generation

Talent, the new generation is full of it, carried by Marie-Antoinette Katoto, the most prolific striker of the last exercise with Paris-Saint-Germain – one of the two giants of French women’s football with Lyon – and of which she is already, at 23, the top scorer in history. The vice-champion of France joined the group two years ago, soon imitated by Clara Matéo, Melvine Malard or Selma Bacha, revealed during the last Tournoi de France, an international competition over three matches won by the Bleues last February.

For the list of players selected for the Euro, Corinne Deacon thus ticked twelve names who were not from the 2019 World Cup. “The news brings their passion. We have a lot of choice, there is a lot of competition, especially offensivelyconfides Griedge Mbock, experienced defender of the France team for nine years, according to whom the coach has adapted her management by showing herself “more open”.“There are a lot more exchanges (and) a little more flexibility, certainly”, Corinne Deacon had also assured Agence France-Presse in recent weeks.

” There is no more time to lose “

She nevertheless preferred to avoid some cohabitation problems by not retaining Kheira Hamraoui. The PSG player has been in trouble with certain club partners present in the selection since the attack she suffered in November 2021 and for which one of her teammates had been placed in police custody, finally lifted. The preparation for the Euro could also have been disrupted by the transfer window period. But Marie-Antoinette Katoto, the most sought after, has “made his decision” for next season, recently swept Deacon in a press conference.

These worries aside, the former coach of Clermont for men, where she became the first woman in this position in 2014, only aspires to one thing for this European championship: the title. ” There is no more time to lose “, she warned. Third nation in the Fifa ranking, Les Bleues will arrive among the favorites in England, as at the next World Cup in 2023 and then at the Paris Olympics a year later“one notch below Sweden, the United States or Japan”shade Yannick Chandioux. “These are advanced countries while we are still at the beginnings of women’s football in France. We could draw a parallel with the French team before Platini in the men’s category, which took a long time to win a title in the 1980s. The French will be able to rely on their good momentum: they have just scored a thirteenth victory in a row during their first warm-up match. Before a second against Vietnam, Friday July 1, in Orléans.

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The list of 23 Blues

The France team will be opposed, during the group stage of the Euro, to Italy (July 10), Belgium (July 14) and Iceland (July 18).

Babysitters: Mylène Chavas, Justine Lerond, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.

Defenders: Selma Bacha, Hawa Cissoko, Sakina Karchaoui, Griedge Mbock, Ève Perisset, Wendie Renard, Marion Torrent, Aïssatou Tounkara.

Environments : Charlotte Bilbault, Kenza Dali, Grace Geyoro, Ella Palis, Sandie Toletti.

Forwards: Sandy Baltimore, Delphine Cascarino, Kadidiatou Diani, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Melvine Malard, Clara Matéo, Ouleymata Sarr.

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Football: why is Kylian Mbappé boycotting the marketing operations of the Blues?



PSG star Kylian Mbappé refused on Tuesday March 22 to participate in a communication operation with the partners of the French Football Federation (FFF). The 23-year-old striker skipped a scheduled meeting in Clairefontaine (Yvelines) with several sponsors of the French team including Volkswagen, Uber Eats, Orange, Xbox or Coca-Cola.

According to those around him, the football player disputes the terms of the agreement relating to the transfer of collective image rights. Signed by each player before his first selection, it provides for obligations vis-à-vis the partners of the FFF. In exchange, the player receives €25,000 per match played. If Mbappé signed it in 2017, it would never have been renegotiated since.

Three years of negotiations with the FFF

According to those close to the striker, the application of the convention has been the subject of a dialogue for three years with the FFF. The player claims not to be associated with brands that he refused to represent, judging their values ​​to be contrary to his own. The PSG Community website claims that Kylian Mbappé would notably refuse to see his image associated with online betting which “would represent a real danger for young people”.

→ ANALYSIS. PSG, one more or too many eliminations?

The player also intends that part of the revenue linked to these marketing actions be donated to amateur football, particularly in the suburbs and the countryside. Since his very first selection in March 2017, the striker has wanted to donate his bonuses to charities.

Donations of premiums to charities

In 2018, as he had promised, the Blues striker donated part of his World Cup winnings (€350,000) to the Premiers de Cordée association, of which he is the sponsor. In the columns of Time Magazine, he had explained the motivations of his gesture: “I earn enough money (…) So I think it’s important to help those who are in need (…) For people like us, giving a hand is not a big deal . It doesn’t change my life, but it does change theirs.

According to those around him, the player’s refusal to participate in the latest communication operations “is in no way a rebellion”. “This episode in no way calls into question the involvement of Kylian Mbappé, his attachment to the France team” explains his relatives who assure that this boycott has for “objective to reaffirm its expectations and move the lines”

“Kylian will be on the lawn in Marseille”

The president of the FFF, Noël Le Graët, tried to change the player’s mind, without success. “I’m not making it a state affair”tried to play down the leader on Wednesday with the daily The Team. “There is no showdown. Little worries are part of life. Kylian will be on the pitch in Marseille,” for the match scheduled for Friday 25 against against Côte d’Ivoire.

→ REREAD. Mbappé, Pogba, Dembélé… The market for free players is upsetting the football economy

According to Noël Le Graët, the lawyers of the FFF will send a letter to its representatives to negotiate. ” We want to improve things and make people happy, sponsors and players.he said, pushing aside any idea of “punishment” against the player. “I don’t like that word. But there will be a conversation” with Kylian Mbappe.

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Beijing Paralympic Games: Blues on time and stunning Ukrainians



He had opened the ball, and undertook to close it in the same way: as a virtuoso. Skier Arthur Bauchet sounded the first Marseillaise of the French Paralympic team at the very start of the Games in Beijing, Saturday March 5, by winning gold in the downhill. The 21-year-old champion executed his last score perfectly to claim the slalom title on Sunday March 13 on the Yanqing track.

→ STORY. “A beautiful story of friendship”: at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, these skiers who follow their guide

Between the two, the licensee of the Briançon ski club will also have won gold in the super-combined and bronze in the giant slalom. Perhaps the most precious metal for him, which was still missing from his collection after the four silver medals brought back from PyeongChang in 2018. Because this bronze, he went to get it “very, very, very far” as he tells it, after a terrible effort, getting on the podium after a first round where he was only ranked sixth. A feat that he paid for after the finish, having to endure a crisis of tremors for half an hour.

“A mutant with rotten powers”

The young man can in fact take everything in his path with his whirlwinds of communicative joy, his spastic paraparesis, a disease that affects the spinal cord and manifests itself in pain and tremors in the muscles of the legs, reminded him almost every time, barely finished his competitions. “I am a mutant with rotten powers”, he often jokes.

We have seen him forced to sit on a wheelchair or lean on crutches while waiting for the ceremonies. So what ? “I ask a lot of my body but I know why I’m in pain”, he lets go. With four medals in total, including three gold, he is the hero of the tricolor delegation, also designated standard bearer for the closing ceremony.

Fewer medals than in 2006 and 2018

A glory that he willingly shares with Benjamin Daviet, who also leaves with four charms around his neck: two in gold in the individual biathlon and the cross-country skiing sprint, two in silver, the last of which was acquired on Sunday March 13 with Anthony Chalençon. in the cross-country ski relay. In total, the French Paralympic team returns from Beijing with 12 medals, including 7 gold. The same number of titles as in 2006 in Turin or in 2018 in PyeongChang, and the same place in the medal table: fourth.

→ MAINTENANCE. Paralympic Games: “Let’s show that disabled athletes exist and perform”

At the foot of the podium therefore, because a few disappointments came to seize up the blue machine, which ultimately won fewer medals than in 2006 (15 in total) or 2018 (20). Marie Bochet in particular ended her phenomenal Paralympic career in real frustration. Only one silver reward, in super-G, and two really infuriating races (she takes her shoes off in the descent and falls in the slalom), far from her usual harvest (4 medals in Sochi, 4 others in PyeongChang). Marie Bochet cried a lot, but in the end retains the best: “It’s always more pleasant on the podiums but I don’t regret this emotional check-up. »

→ PORTRAIT. Beijing Paralympic Games: Marie Bochet, “the tigress has calmed down”

Ukrainians on a mission

Emotions, the Ukrainian delegation has filled its suitcases. Despite the context, an almost unexpected arrival in China after days of hardly training, the Ukrainians have done better than hold their rank. With 29 medals, they broke their record (25 in 2006 and 2014), also exploding their golden record: 11 titles (against at best 7 in Turin). “The fact that they compete here and stay focused on the competition, knowing what’s going on in their country, it’s amazing,” had greeted in the middle of the week Andrew Parsons, the president of the International Paralympic Committee.

Another great moment for Valeriy Sushkevych, the father of Ukrainian Paralympism since the end of the 1990s, confined to a wheelchair from a young age by polio, and who still chairs the Ukrainian delegation. It is he who is at the origin of the Invasport network which, in Ukraine, facilitates the practice of disabled sports designed as a tool for rehabilitation and socialization, and which constitutes a breeding ground that has been feeding the high national level for nearly twenty years, for both winter and summer sports (Ukraine was 6thand world ranking in Tokyo with 98 medals). Olympic history will remember that more than ever in Beijing resounds the Ukrainian anthem: “Ukraine is not dead yet. »

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China, from nothingness to triumph

Until then, their record was starved: only one medal for Chinese Paralympic athletes since their first participation in the Games in 2002. It was in PyeongChang in 2018, they had won gold in mixed curling. In Beijing, they now largely dominate the medal table: 61, including 18 gold. A surprise, especially since with the pandemic, the Chinese had hardly participated in international competitions for two years. They were preparing out of sight, with colossal means released by the government, many coaches recruited abroad and extreme training for the organizations. The Chinese were particularly surprised in alpine skiing, like the young Zhang Mengqiu, just 20 years old today, sensation of these Games with five medals including two gold.

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Beijing Olympics: cold shower for the Skicross Blues



They knew they were expected, to finish these Games in style and allow France to hope to beat its medal record, obtained in PyeongChang. They all had the goal of getting on the podium. “It’s going to be complicated to have four medals”, even joked François Place a few days before the event.

→ THE FACTS. Beijing Olympics: Justine Braisaz-Bouchet gold medalist in the mass-start

But the plan did not go as planned. The Blues of skicross, this discipline which consists of competing with four on a bumpy track made up of turns and jumps, did not know how to respond to the Beijing Games, Friday February 18, on the sunny slopes of the Genting Snow Park from Zhangjiakou, 2,000 meters above sea level.

bad starts

The best of them, François Place, 32, finished eighth, last in the small final. No other Frenchman reached the semi-finals. First thunderclap of the day, Terence Tchiknavorian, 29 and second in the World Cup standings this season, failed in the first qualifying race (3rd in the round of 16, 18th overall). Just like his teammate Jean-Frédéric Chapuis, 32, gold medalist in Sochi in 2014 (20th). For Bastien Midol, 31 and 3rd in the World Cup, the adventure ended shortly after, in the quarter-finals (11th).

→ ANALYSIS. Beijing Olympics: these French champions between resourcefulness and crowdfunding

“There is disappointment, says trainer Thomas Frey. We did not know how to be regular on departures. We had the technical part and the sliding but, to be Olympic champions, we had to make four perfect starts to start in the lead on this track which is not selective. »

“The end of an era”

Despite the general underperformance, the Blues do not seem collapsed. “I still had a good week, I felt good. I was a bit afraid of being taken in by the event, but it was going well on the skis and in the head”, explains Bastien Midol, who discovered the Games after a serious back injury which deprived him of it in Sochi in 2014. “It’s ski cross, it’s like that, it smiles on some and not on others”, he adds.

There is still a taste of bitterness, especially in the speech of François Place: “For me and Jean-Frédéric (Chapuis), it was our last Games… Today, there was a very dense level, I think that we were 20 to be able to win the medal. »

“It’s the end of an era, which will lead to a new one”, hopes Thomas Frey. Eight years ago, the Tricolores achieved a historic hat-trick in Sochi, with Jean-Frédéric Chapuis (1st), Arnaud Bovolenta (2nd) and Jonathan Midol (3rd), Bastien’s brother. PyeongChang, in 2018, had been more disappointing, with still two men in the top 10: Arnaud Bovolenta (6th) and François Place (10th). For the French, heading now for the rest of the World Cup, which resumes next week in Russia.

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Rain of money on the Blues, controversies over the combinations… the recap JO Monday, February 7



► Johan Clarey, Olympic Dean

At 41, downhiller Johan Clarey has become the oldest medalist in the history of alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics. He was overtaken on the Beijing track by another veteran, the Swiss Beat Feuz, soon to be 35 years old. He is the fourth silver medalist in downhill skiing in France, which also has five Olympic champions, Henri Oreiller, Jean Vuarnet, Jean-Claude Killy, Jean-Luc Crétier and Antoine Dénériaz. It had been sixteen years since France had won a medal in the downhill.

→ EXPLANATION. Beijing Olympics: downhill, priority for “old people”

The consecration of Johan Clarey came shortly before the second round of the giant, where Tessa Worley, standard bearer and double world champion, crashed. At the age of 32, she said goodbye to the Games which have never been very successful for her (16th in 2010, package in 2014 and 7th in 2018).

► Anaïs Chevalier-Bouchet, the best in shooting

A little later in the morning of Monday February 7, Anaïs Chevalier-Bouchet added silver to the field of biathletes, who had mounted the second step of the podium in the mixed team relay on Saturday 5. Not necessarily the fastest on on skis, the biathlete from Sept-Laux largely made up for it in shooting, speed and precision, scoring 19/20.

→ READ. Beijing Olympics: biathlete Anaïs Chevalier-Bouchet also wins silver

She missed the last target on a bad gust of wind, which deprived her of the gold which seemed to her promised and which went to the German Denise Herrmann. The French has an atypical career, since she had given up the entire 2019-2020 season to give birth to her daughter.

► In mixed, the first controversy

This third day of the Winter Games will go down in history for having offered two firsts in mixed competition: mixed ski jumping (2 girls and 2 boys from the same nation jump alternately) and mixed pair curling (a boy pair -girl by nation).

The mixed jumping competition, won by Slovenia, was the subject of the first controversy of the Games: three jumpers from three different teams, Germany, Norway and Japan, saw their jump not taken into consideration in the final count due to non-compliant suits, deemed too wide and therefore too load-bearing.

► Five Chinese in the final, including two Hungarians

The 1,500m final, the queen race of short track speed skating, turned into a Chinese demonstration, since the five finalists were born in China. Two of the participants nevertheless competed under the Hungarian flag, the nationality of their mother.

Crowned in the 1500m, Dutchwoman Ireen Wüst now has six Olympic gold medals (twelve in total) in speed skating. At 35, she is the first athlete to win an individual title in five different Games.

► The program for Tuesday, February 8

– The harvest of medals for the French team, fifteenth in the nations ranking, could well be further enriched if the hopes placed on the super-G (4 hours) materialize, with the entry into the running of Alexis Pinturault .

→ TO REREAD. Beijing Olympics: the great ambitions of a reduced French team

– In biathlon, we count on Quentin Fillon Maillet, who can aim for a medal in the 20 km (9:30 a.m.).

– Another sensation to come, the final passage in the final for a medal announced by Tess Ledeux (3 hours) in Big Air (springboard). Note the entry into the running of Kevin Aymoz and Adam Siao Him Fa, the only French representatives in individual skating for the short program (from 2:20 a.m.).

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Handball, the Blue in the final to enter the legend



It will be, Sunday, December 18, live on TF1. From 5.30 p.m., the French handball players, reigning Olympic champions, will face Norway in the 2021 World Cup final. A poster in the form of “Revenge” afterEuro-2020, “Lost by two goals”, commented the pivot of the Blue Pauletta Foppa, at theAFP. “It’s going to be a very exciting game, with style opposition. It’s a very difficult team to beat ”, warned the coach of the France team, Olivier Krumbholz.

The French climbed to the final at the end of a semi-final full of suspense, against Denmark (23-22) on Friday 17th, and find themselves above all, now, in a match of an exceptional double, a little more than four months after the coronation of Tokyo. Only the Danes (1996) and the Norwegians (2008) managed to achieve such a feat in the past (a double JO-Euro at the time).

Handball: the Blue are really on the attack before the semi-final of the World Cup

A complicated meeting

In the semi-final, in a very complicated meeting against a Scandinavian defense very well in place, the Blue made a very large part of the semi-final behind in the score, penalized by loss of ball (ten in the first thirty minutes ) and a failed attack on Althea Reinhardt, the Danish goalkeeper. “We had to go get that one, we had to be patient, hang on when we weren’t very good, avoid letting them go with a score that would not have been overtaken”, recognized Olivier Krumbholz.

Led by four goals several times in the first period (8-4, 16th, 10-6, 20e) then in the second period (18-14, 41e), the French took a long time to find the loophole, and it was finally on a tactical choice of a staged defense with Estelle Nze Minko in an advanced position that they put doubt in the head of the Danish attack.

The French came back to score at that point, just after having negotiated a double numerical advantage rather badly. It was then that the team’s key players, Grâce Zaadi, Estelle Nze Minko and Pauletta Foppa accelerated to return to a tie (20-20, 51st). Althea Reinhardt, perfect in her cages so far, gave way to Sandra Toft in the last ten minutes. And the Brest goalkeeper kept her team in the fight, at a time when the French were taking over.

A victory “to the mind”

It was finally the Brestoise Alicia Toublanc, on her right wing, who gave the advantage at the start of the last five minutes (22-21), not to let the Danes come back in front. Toft’s parry on a counterattack from Coralie Lassource only delayed the fatal deadline for the Danes, who are setting a date for the future.

Cleopatra Darleux, coming into play for the second half, defeated left winger Laerke Pedersen and sealed the victory at the end of the suspense, while the tricolor wall had to provide a last effort, on a free kick after the buzzer, before letting his joy burst.

“We went looking for her with the guts, with the mind. We did not play our best game of the competition, but the result is there, we are in the final. It is the most important “, rejoiced Coralie Lassource.

In the final against Norway, it will be a different story: “If we do not find the quality of the game, it will be very difficult”, has already warned, Saturday 18, the coach.

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