the Blues in the final against the immense China at the World Team Championships

The French men’s table tennis team, led by brothers Félix and Alexis Lebrun, will compete in the final of the World Team Championships on Sunday, February 25, against China, the ten-time defending champion, in Busan in South Korea, after having defeated Taiwan.

Published on: 02/24/2024 – 4:53 p.m.

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To win gold, the challenge is immense, but not impossible. The Lebrun brothers and Simon Gauzy will have to get rid of the three best players in the world currently. In order, Fan Zhendong, Wang Chuqin and Ma Long.

« It will be a huge moment to experiencealready anticipates Alexis Lebrun, the eldest. They are legends, but we will have to put it out of our heads. They are adversaries, we will have to go there as a conqueror to try to make them doubt and look for something great. I believe we are capable of it. »

« It’s incredible to be in the final, we came to seek a medal. We were number four (in the world rankings, Editor’s note), so that was our goal », savored his brother Félix at the microphone of the International Federation.

Third world final in the history of the Blues

The French triplet joins the third world final in the history of the Blues, after 1948 and 1997, when the team led by the Olympic vice-champion (1992) and world champion (1993) Jean-Philippe Gatien was adorned with silver, which remains the best French team result.

Last April, Alexis Lebrun created a sensation in Macau by knocking out world number 1 Fan Zhendong in the quarter-finals of a WTT Champions tournament. The eldest of the siblings is the first European to have achieved this feat.

His younger brother Félix, with his outdated pen-hold, is in fantastic form in South Korea. In the semi-final, he unceremoniously manhandled the Taiwanese Lin Yun-ju, world number 8, dried up 3-0 (11-7,12-10,11-8). In the wake of his second tournament won on the circuit last month in Goa, after his title in Antalya in November.

« Honestly, I wouldn’t have imagined we’d be in the finalwhispers the third man, Simon Gauzy. We came looking for something big, but we didn’t really know what it was. Being in the final against China, we all dreamed of it. »

Whatever the result on Sunday, these Worlds in Busan have already entered the history of the tricolor “ping”, the French table tennis players also returning with a medal, bronze, a first since 1991. Outclassed 3-0 by China on Friday, Jia Nan Yuan, Prithika Pavade and Charlotte Lutz did not have to play a match for the podium in South Korea, unlike the format of the 2024 Olympics.


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