Faced with the big favorites Americans, there was no miracle for the French archers, eliminated from the start on Monday during the men’s archery team event at the Tokyo Olympics. The trio of Jean-Charles Valladont, Thomas Chirault and Pierre Plihon, vice-world champions in 2017, lost 6-0 in the round of 16 against the Americans, led by Brady Ellison, the world number 1, champion of the reigning world and triple Olympic medalist (team silver in 2012 and 2016, individual bronze in 2016). The tricolor archers could never compete on Monday with the Americans.
Rio Olympic runner-up, Jean-Charles Valladont, already struggling in the ranking shot on Friday (57th out of 64) and in mixed Saturday, appeared a notch below his teammates. In particular, he was unable to shoot his second arrow in the second set, the time limit having elapsed. “I didn’t have time to shoot my arrow because we were together on the shooting range for a long time. There was a little lack of communication between us which meant that I didn’t know where I was in the weather”, Valladont explained. “Me, I must give time to Jean-Charles and there I was so absorbed by the shooting that I completely forgot the stopwatch”, Plihon apologized. “It gave them confidence (the Americans), afterwards they shot very, very well (…) We must not make mistakes like that”, he added.
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The Americans had already beaten the French by the same score in the semi-finals of the Olympic Team Qualifying Tournament in Paris at the end of June. France had inherited automatically from this opponent after the very mixed results Friday of the male archers during the classification shooting, which determines the tables of the other events (mixed, team and individual). France, which took 5th place in mixed doubles on Saturday, will now try to bounce back in the individual event which begins on Tuesday. The three male archers will be in contention as well as Lisa Barbelin in the female draw.
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