Tokyo Olympics: “I really need a break”, Charlotte Bonnet stalls in the semi-final of the 200m NL

Two eliminations in the semi-final, two speeches, two atmospheres… Charlotte Bonnet (200 m NL) and Léon Marchand (200 m butterfly), the only French people in the running, were both eliminated Tuesday morning in the semi-final in the pool of Tokyo Aquatics Center. A real blow for the first, a learning experience for the second…

“It’s obviously a disappointment,” breathes the swimmer from Nice, very affected by her 13th time (in 1′57′’35). I wanted to get into the final. I knew it would be complicated because my year was super complicated. All year, prepared or not, I swam in the same waters. A mix of mental and physical that didn’t live up to what I hoped for. It makes me sad and it disappoints me because it was accessible and it was close to my heart…”

The 2018 European champion still has the 100m NL and the 4 x 200m on the program. But she is already looking beyond Tokyo. “Experiencing this in the year of the Games is very hard,” she says. I hope they won’t be my last, that I’ll go to Paris so I don’t end up there. I was already super happy to qualify and there may be a problem. It should have been super simple at my level (Editor’s note: she waited until the last deadline of the French Championships in mid-June to get her ticket). I have to put things back together and find myself to find out what I want to do. »

His eleven years of collaboration with Fabrice Pellerin will soon end. “I really need a break to ask myself the right questions,” she continues. I’m 26, I don’t have the same expectations as I did at 15. I can’t find solutions to my questions. I would just like to get back to my level of three or four years ago but it seems so far away today. I think I deserve better than that. »

Léon Marchand, on the contrary, does not look back. The 19-year-old Toulouse prodigy has a future ahead of him. After narrowly qualifying for the semi-finals, the TOEC Dauphins swimmer, who will go to the United States next year, finished 14th (in 1’55”68). Even if he is a little choosy, the young man is content with it.

“It’s disappointing because access to the final was rather open,” he breathes. Even if I’m already happy with my week (Editor’s note: sixth in the 400m medley final) it was a little bonus, we always want to strive for better. I was good during the race but I made a mistake in the last fifteen meters, that’s what disappoints me a little…”


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