Badminton. Thom Gicquel, vice-champion of Europe: “We were there for the gold! – Badminton

European Championships in Madrid. Lamsfuss – Lohau (GER / N.15) – Gicquel – Delrue (FRA / N.11): 16-21, 22-20, 21-16

It was a close and balanced final. What made him lean towards them?

Small details. I think we were better in the first two sets, where we could have won. We dominated the exchanges but we give them a few points at the end of the second set. They managed this crucial moment better. And the third, they play in confidence after having equalized and us, not necessarily.

This end of the second set at 18-17, where you take a yellow card on serve, but you still lead 19-17 behind, must leave you with a lot of regrets, right?

Yes, completely. The yellow card, I don’t think it changes much in the match even if it is clearly abused. This point at 19-17, we had the attack, we were good and it should have happened there. We really haven’t gone far (sighs).

The question of the service and the tempo that the server drives will have been predominant in this final. What’s your opinion ?

For me, I’m right but the referee had another analysis of the bad rules. The game must be continuous and if the server is ready, it is up to the receiver to adapt. Even for the steering wheel changes, it was complicated. Attention, this is not what changes the game but I still take a yellow card when it is he who delays the game.

This choppy pace, these interruptions/discussions, didn’t that take you out of your match, especially in the third set?

I do not know. There, we are still early after the match to analyze. In the first two sets, it was going fast and it really bothered them. From the end of the second, they were the ones managing the time and the referee put pressure on us. It is sure that in the head, that annoys, so yes, it is possible.

Playing a final of a major championship from 10 a.m., is it easy to manage?

Yes, I was amazed at the schedule. Well, we often train early at Insep, so we know how to play, but it was weird and I would have preferred to play later in the afternoon, like for the semi-finals, that’s for sure. And with the morning schedule, my parents couldn’t come, unfortunately. I heard a few Britons and saw a few flags but there were a lot more Germans in the stands.

This is only the third silver medal for France at the Euro. At 23, that’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

What I say to everyone, 23 or not, I don’t really care. We were there to get the gold, we didn’t get it so, for the moment, I’m very disappointed. And 23, I almost find that quite late. I would have seen myself having it before (smiles). To aim even higher then.

The service will have been one of the key moments of this final for Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue. (Photo FFBAD)

What did you say to Delphine at the end of the match?

We thought it was c… because we were probably the strongest today. That we had still had a good week after a not so good start to the season. We regained confidence, our game is back.

On the podium, Delphine still managed to make you smile…

Yes, we thought the medal was very ugly (laughs). Above all, we said to ourselves that we were happy to be on this podium and that it will be our turn, one day, to be on the first step. In a few days, we will surely say to ourselves that we can be proud of what we have done, but it is still too early to savor it.

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