What could have happened on July 29
French sport has not always had to complain about the use of video. During the 2018 World Cup, the fate of the final probably changed to 1-1 in the 39e minute with the penalty converted by Antoine Griezmann following a hand (involuntary?) of the unfortunate Ivan Perisic, confused by the VAR. In a world and football without video, Croatia might have become world champions.
In Tokyo, the “Perisic” of tricolor fencing is called Maxence Lambert. The space of a few minutes, the saber saw the last touch, that of the Olympic title in the final against Italy. When Lambert takes his last shift, he inherits an almost desperate situation. France is led 40 to 31. Luca Curatoli has only five touches to register. But the unlikely happened, Lambert caught up and equalized at 44-44 after registering five hits in a row.
The psychological ascendancy is on his side. True to his tactics, he pounced on the Italian after the “On guard! Ready? Go! “ and, as often with saber, both shooters hit their opponent. Everyone is watching the judge who designates… the French camp! According to him, the attack comes from Lambert. His two teammates pounce on him, but, at the same time, the Italians call for video refereeing.
The seconds then become minutes and the judge hesitates on his decision before returning to the middle of the track. With a wave of his arm, he indicates the Italian camp this time. It was barely noticeable to the layman, but the Frenchman paused at the moment of his attack, losing priority.
This bitter defeat is an opportunity to revive the debate on video refereeing in sport. The same evening, “The Evening Team” even devotes ten minutes to this controversy, between a Benzema-Giroud debate and another on Neymar’s desires to join Barcelona. This is also the magic of the Olympics.
The Covid also deprived us …
… The victory of a former ski jumper in the cycling time trial. Slovenian Primoz Roglic dreamed of springboards and the winter Olympics; a nasty fall at 18 finally directed him, happily, to cycling.
… The second Olympic title in Fiji’s history. Like the first in 2016, it rewards the Sevens rugby team which triumphs in the United States final.
… The disqualification of Benoît Paire, during his third round against the Belgian David Goffin “For repeated verbal contempt “. The Avignon resident recalled, in his own way, that French was one of the two official languages of the Games.
She should have been there
Johanne Defay, 26 years old, surf:
“On July 29, I will be in the Alps. My boyfriend is from there and we will be hiking in the mountains. We will be very far from surfing and Tokyo. Currently, I train in Hossegor, in the Landes [entretien réalisé le 6 juillet]. For us surfers, the current situation is complicated. It is still not clear if 2020 will be a white season. Chances are, but it’s not official yet. We are a sport where we come from all over the world, a third of men’s surfers are Brazilians, for example. It’s also complicated with the United States. I’m afraid that everything will not be settled for 2021. Even for the Olympics, I tell myself that it will be complicated…
At the Games, the competition must take place over four days, but there are “reserve” days if the conditions do not allow surfing. We are used to staying ten days at the venue. You can come to the site one day, but not surf, because you expect bigger waves the next day. In July-August, in Japan, you can have a flat sea, without too much swell. I think I’m pretty versatile. Basically, I was not a specialist in small waves, but I managed to develop my surf in these conditions and even to win.
I do not have in mind the course of the competition at the Olympics! But, to summarize, we participate in series where we are four girls in the water and we have to take the best waves, perform the best figures. The score is out of 10 and the jury retained our two best waves. At the end of this series, which lasts twenty to thirty minutes, a classification is established and the two best are qualified. And it’s the same process then in the quarter, semi and final. I just know that at the Olympics we add a classification round to award the bronze medal.
I wouldn’t say that the Games have become a priority over my other goals, on the World Cup, for example. But, thanks to my Olympic qualification, I was able to find new sponsors; afterwards, it is not the Games that will save me a living. But I’m happier to be able to live this experience. The Games are another dimension and, in addition, it is a first for our sport. We are going to reach another audience. Some people will discover competitive surfing, while in France, for example, it is seen more as a hobby. “
It’s only at the Olympics that we see that
Rebecca Romero, from the water to the track
In 2008, Great Britain crushed the competition in the track cycling events. At the Beijing velodrome, God Save the Queen sounded seven times. Only three events escape the British raid. The competition is seeing the damage, starting with the France team, which still dominated the track in the early 2000s.
In the midst of this collective triumph, Rebecca Romero achieves a rather unique feat in the history of Olympism. At 28, she won the individual pursuit, beating her compatriot Wendy Houvenaghel in the final. Romero had already known the joys of an Olympic podium four years earlier in Athens. But that was in another life. At the time, the Londoner was not yet pedaling, but paddling. Literally. Romero practices rowing. Engaged in the quadruple scull, she and her teammates won a silver medal. The following year, the British boat became world champion.
But persistent back pain will change the athlete’s life. Unable to row, Romero took to cycling to maintain his form. Very quickly, she realizes that she has certain facilities and dreams of participating in her second Olympic Games, this time on dry land. Even if the bike does not use the same muscles as rowing, the pursuit sticks with its qualities as a rower. After all, it is a strenuous effort of less than five minutes.
Less than two years after her debut, Romero became the world track champion and would confirm her dominance in Beijing. Journalists then seek a precedent of an athlete capable of shining at the Olympics in two disciplines. We then bring out the story of East German Roswitha Krause. Silver medalist in the 4 x 100 m freestyle in 1968, the swimmer puts away her jersey to become a handball player and win two Olympic titles in 1976 and 1980.
Romero will not be able to do the same at home in London in 2012, the individual pursuit having been removed from the Olympic program. The Briton will then put away her track bike for the road bike as part of a third life: that of a long-distance triathlete. Romero will participate in the world championships in 2012, without turning this conversion into gold this time.
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