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.