Quentin Bigot, the hammer revived

After the postponement of the Tokyo Games, Liberation began to follow hammer thrower Quentin Bigot again in his pre-Olympic preparation.

We are getting back to work slowly but surely near Metz where Quentin Bigot, after the forced end of confinement, has never let go of his favorite device: the hammer. The pitcher, vice-world champion in Doha in 2019, made this very special period fruitful to adopt technical changes that could not have taken place in an Olympic season.

“In the first part of the confinement I tried to organize myself, I installed a small weight room in the garage, then to start I went to a field of my grandparents: I cleared over 80 meters, when I think about it… we really did the crazy! tells as if it was a century ago the thrower of Metz Métropole Athlétisme. Then the Olympics fell through and shortly after the European Championships which were to be held in Paris. So my coach told me: “It’s time to take it easy.” “ It is also that of taking time to regenerate: “The world championships in Doha took place very late in the 2019 season. I started again very quickly afterwards and I was doing anything technically. There I can say without problem that this long stop [un mois et demi, ndlr] really helped me. ” Even if “I lost weight of course, a little tonus. But in June, when we resumed training, the form returned very quickly ”.

Quentin Bigot in training at the Ring, an athletics hall in Metz which has a shot put area unique in France. Photo Mathieu Cugnot for Release

Previous articles in the let’s JO series# 1 Quentin Bigot, his hammer, his past, his coach, his medal; # 2 The loneliness of the hammer thrower; # 3 By train to work; # 4 “We don’t know when we can get back to the stadium, normalcy”; # 5 The well-confined hammer.

In addition, during confinement, the student of Pierre-Jean Vazel received excellent news: at the end of 2020 he will have his first child. “So it was a good time to make room for the baby in our house. I took advantage of the time in confinement to do things that I didn’t have time to do elsewhere ”, comments, posed, Quentin Bigot before starting the training session of the afternoon.

Only three competitions

Bigot has only played three competitions this season: “First in mid-August in Leverkusen at the end of a week’s internship with my Belarusian friend [aujourd’hui de nationalité russe, ndlr] Sergey Litvinov. Leverkusen is two and a half hours from here. At the end of the course we are tired, but we launched for fun and for the club that invited us. I did almost 74 meters, I was still happy. Then the Coupe de France in Lyon at the beginning of September where I throw at 74.8 meters: small improvement. Then, before the French championships, in training I feel really good, I did 78 meters several times. In Albi I win but with 76 and some. We went there the day before the competition with the club van, ten hours of travel. Arrived at 9:30 p.m., the next day I have to launch at noon: I blocked my back after the first try, so I can’t complain about my performance, especially since I realize a very regular series of jets around 75-76 meters. In the middle they say that when you do that, you can go 2-3 meters further. “ Quentin Bigot starts his winter preparation with the 2021 Olympics in his sights: “We have said everything and its opposite about the Tokyo Games. Personally I think they will be held, perhaps in a formula never seen before, perhaps without an audience. There will be a different approach to the competition. But hey, I work for it. ”

Technical changes

The Metz pitcher cites three adjectives to qualify the season which has just ended: special, regenerating and capital. It is pointed out that two out of three are downright positive: “I get a lot of good things out of it indeed. A regenerating season because my body needed to recover; this is the first time in my career that I have taken such a long break. The first months of 2020 had not been great… I had wanted to put the cart before the horse. If the Olympics had taken place, I don’t know if I would have had good results. I rebuilt myself physically but also psychologically. I spent a lot of time dissecting videos with Enguerrand [son nouveau camarade de club Enguerrand Decroix Têtu, ndlr] who is like me a true hammer enthusiast. “

Metz October 9, 2020. Training session of Quentin Bigot, vice-world champion in hammer throw in Doha.  The training session takes place in the L'Anneau room, Metz athletics hall.  who installed a shot put area, unique in France.  Quentin views a video of his latest throw.Quentin watches his launches. Photo Mathieu Cugnot for Release

A crucial season too: “I initiated technical changes. These were faults that blocked me to do 80 meters. In a normal year you don’t have time to do this operation which takes months. I’ve been launching in the same way for fifteen years, you don’t change that in two weeks. So we used this season to work on it. We only started harvesting the fruits in September, it’s long, it’s difficult. That’s why I say it’s capital, it was a technical challenge. I am much more relaxed in my upper body and in training I throw a lot more light hammers. Before it was the opposite. Overall you have to accept not to throw far all the time in training. The further you want to throw, the less well you throw. There is a time for everything and I had neglected this side a bit, reassuring myself by always wanting to throw far. It’s very hard not to focus on the distance but on the sensations. I’m going to be 28, I’m at an age where you have to put in place the possible changes, after that it will be too late. The golden age of hammer throwers is around 30 years old. ”

The first feedback related to the changes was good: “Without having done anything extraordinary in training, I do three more than honest competitions.” With the Games in sight, a brand new Quentin Bigot is ready.

Luca Endrizzi Special Envoy to Metz

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1930s: Noël and Winter, the two sides of the record

Every week with RetroNews, the BNF press site, we take a look at a sports story as told by the press of the time. This Saturday, the rivalry and friendship between two discobolos from the 1930s, Jules Noël and Paul Winter.

Two French sportsmen, rivals but very respectful of each other, who compete for national, European or even world supremacy, it is unusual. Especially in athletics. And especially in a throwing discipline. Jules Noël and Paul Winter were these two champions, two discobolts whose battles were the delight of athletics fans in the 1930s.

Christmas is the first to enter the notoriety scene. Born in 1906 in Pas-de-Calais, worker at 13, he enlisted in the army in 1924. Thanks to his physical predispositions, he was assigned to the Higher School of Physical Education, a unit that welcomes sportsmen (it will be better known after the second war under the name of the Joinville battalion). He will even become a monitor there. Discus thrower, weight, brilliant fencer and fencing master, licensed since 1927 at the French Stadium, where he will meet Winter, Noël plays his first international athletics meeting in 1926. He accumulates records in France with incredible consistency. So in 1929 he improved his mark for the fifth time in the season, as recounted dawn August 19. “During this great meeting, followed by many spectators, stadion Jules Noël broke, for the fifth time this season, the French record for the disc, with a throw of 47.44 improving his previous record by 1 meter. Here, for documentary purposes, are the previous records broken by Jules Noël: 44 m, 45.48 m, 46.35 m and 47 m 44. “

Read also the athletics retrosports Géo André: “the complete athlete; Jules Ladoumègue, a crowded story; Tola Vologe, athlete in the heart of Lyon

With his sporting excellence, Noël combines a charisma which propels him to the captaincy of the French athletics team. His predecessors were panting at this post, it’s not the kind of Christmas house, as the story goes Paris Evening, of August 21, 1930 on the eve of a match against Japan. “Jules Noël, stadion discobolus and fencing master at the Joinville school, is also, as we know, captain of the French athletics team. Until then this title was only an honorary thing and its holder, quietly, remained in the row, awaiting the events and not risking, the nose out only on the great occasions. Here is another tradition that is dying! Noël, perhaps precisely because he is a professional soldier, has the soul of a captain and nothing escapes his scrutinizing eye, his perspicacity. “

In the 1930s Noël and Winter snapped up, stole from each other, transplanted the French record for the discus throw. Each pushes the other to improve, rejoices l’Excelsior of September 21, 1931. “Many times the question was asked whether competition was useful in sporting events. The match in which our discobolus champions Jules Noël and Paul Winter have been engaged for several months is there to prove that it is not only useful, but essential. It is evident that these two remarkable specialists would not have made the progress which now makes them world-class athletes if a rivalry, purely sporting, moreover, had not made them stand one against each other. ” The day before, Winter launched his disc at 48.73 m, dispossessing the record of France Noël which had himself recovered the previous Sunday “On Monday morning Paul Winter rushes to the newspapers and eagerly seeks the report of the event in which Jules Noël took part the day before. Of course, Jules Noël does the same, imagine le journal. And these two athletes, both career non-commissioned officers at the Joinville School, have only one desire: to dispossess each other of the French record. “

To read also on the occasion of the finals of Roland-Garros, this weekend1930s: tenniswoman Simonne Mathieu, from sports resilience to active resistance; 1928: Roland-Garros moves to Roland-Garros; Suzanne Lenglen, the first international “star” of French tennis; 1918: Roland Garros, death of the man who “had enslaved space”; Marguerite Broquedis, the great forgotten tennis player

Paul Winter’s career strangely matches that of Jules Noël. Born in 1906 in Alsace, he showed his physical qualities at a very young age. His career really started when he was incorporated in 1926. He played his first international meeting in 1927, a year after Christmas. But, if the following year, Christmas qualifies for the Olympic Games, Winter, him, remains on the platform of the train which leaves for Amsterdam. However, there is one point on which they are not alike: training. The two athletes do not prepare in the same way for the 1932 Games, which will take place in distant Los Angeles in early August. “The two men, currently, are not far from their best form and if Winter does not train very little – this is his method – Jules Noël, on the other hand, spends several hours every day perfecting his tuning. . Both will pass very fluently this season the 48-meter mark and their “happy jets” will likely exceed 49 meters. This is a very good performance. And, with jets of 49 meters, Winter and Noël can claim, if not to a victory at least to an excellent representation. ” optimizes Paris-Soir of May 15, 1932. Who notes that «the world record, owned by the American, Jesup, stands at 51.75 meters. ” Other notable differences between the two discobolus: style and morphology. “Concentrated, without apparent feverishness, Winter dominated his subject, unlike Jules Noël, more emotional and exuberant”, writes the site cdm.athlé.com. One is tall and lean, the other small and stocky. “Physically, the contrast was also striking, because, facing the 1.90 m and 90 kg of Christmas, Paul Winter measured” only “1.75 for 92 kg.”

On June 5, 1932, not many people flocked to the Colombes stadium for one of the last meetings before the Olympic Games. Fortunately, there is Winter and Christmas, rejoices the morning of the next day. “From a pure sport point of view, there were fortunately some pleasant compensations and among these pleasant things, we must place in the very first rank the discus throw at 49.44 m made by Jules Noël, while his friend Paul Winter does not managed a throw of 45.13 meters. Here then, Jules Noël took back from Paul Winter the French record for the specialty, a record that Winter had brought to 48.80 and as this Homeric duel between the two beautiful French athletes is far from over. “ The newspaper is already projecting in California: “One can believe that, in this specialty of the disc, we will one day arrive at the true Olympic performances. The day when, in the pedestrian part [les courses ndlr], we will manage to find such rivalries at home, and then we will be able to claim truly “international” success. “

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On July 30, 1932, at the opening of the Games, Noël was ahead of Winter: he was the flag bearer of the French delegation. But on August 3, Winter gets on the 3e walk of the podium of the disc competition at the foot of which we find Christmas. Winter’s medal is eclipsed by French victories in cycling (the 2000m tandem) and wrestling (lightweight). “In the stadium, it is when the disc is launched that we must look for a reason for satisfaction. Paul Winter sent the machine to 47.85 and earned us, in the final, a place of honor, that of third in front of our second representative Noël (47.74) ”, writes the friend of the people August 5. Would both men’s arms have shaken from the stake, the newspaper suggests: “The atmosphere of the Olympic stadium and the importance of such competitions has never been favorable to our athletes, easily, too easily, impressionable.” Winter remains to this day the only French Olympic medalist on record.

A month after his Olympic medal, Winter drives home the point, as the story goes.a Tribune de l’Aube September 12. “Paul Winter, who took part in the international meeting in Colmar, made a splendid throw of 50.71, which is a new record for France; the previous one was also held by him. With this new success, Winter, who achieved 49.38m the same day, asserts himself by far as the best European pitcher, if not the best pitcher in the world, considering his splendid consistency. “ However, the newspaper digs into Winter’s pride a little by recalling that“Anderson (EU) was the Olympic winner with 49.48m. Winter could have, with any luck, removed this ordeal. ” Winter’s record will hold until… 1958.

In 1934, Noël returned to civilian life and went into exile in Bern, Switzerland, to take charge of the… fencing school. But in sport, he remains French. It is he who, in 1936, again, is the standard bearer of the French delegation to the Olympic Games in Berlin in which Winter also participates. Without success. Therefore, the future of the two discobolus is behind them. The Little Parisian of November 9, 1937 gives news of Winter, this guy “To the right head”. “A little gruff, no doubt, not talkative, for a penny, sometimes grumpy. But a good guy with good blue eyes that shine amazingly. Paul Winter, a hundred percent Alsatian and instructor of the Joinville school for many years, is seriously worried. His season has not been good. The next one might not be either. It is because the champion is advancing in age. He will be thirty-one years old next February. It is true that Jules Noël, his lifelong rival, will have thirty-four by this date. “ The newspaper says that we can meet Winter every Sunday morning at the Pershing stadium (in Vincennes) where he teaches whoever wants the secrets of the discus, weight and javelin throws.

Jules Noël, he devotes himself to fencing, as reported by the Dispatch of August 4, 1938.

In 1939, Jules Noël was mobilized. He was assigned to Joinville but he wanted to serve in a fighting unit. Seriously injured in 1940 in Cambrai, he died in the ambulance which brought him back to the rear under the bombardments. “Among the pre-war athletes, Jules Noël, who died on the field of honor, was one of the rare French who had reached the international class, pays him homage the cry of the people of Paris of December 10, 1940. He was also one of the most loyal, one of the most correct and one of the nicest. Nature had given him a strong stature, a power that allowed him to throw the discus and the weight in the best conditions. His matches with his comrade Winter, who has since become one of the most active and valuable physical educators of the French Athletics Federation, are still remembered. ”

His rival survives the conflict. “Despite the war, Paul Winter nonetheless continued to satisfy his passion, always throwing over 40 m, tells cdm.athlé.com. Thus, at the Liberation, we find him finalist of the French championships in 1945 and 1946, ending his career in 1949 at age 43, under the colors of the French CA, with a throw of 41.15 m. “ Paul Winter died on February 22, 1992, at the age of 86, in a retirement home in Poitiers.

Gilles Dhers

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China launches missile for its first landing on Mars

China launched a rocket with a spaceship on board to Mars. The launch vehicle of the new, high-performance type “Long March 5” took off on Thursday from the space station in Wenchang on the south Chinese island of Hainan. The five-ton spaceship consists of an orbiter, a landing device and a vehicle the size of a golf cart.

Unlike other space nations, China plans to try landing on the Red Planet on its first independent Mars mission. The spaceship is scheduled to reach Mars in February, but will not land until two or three months later. The name “Tianwen-1” can be translated as “Questions to Heaven” and is borrowed from an ancient Chinese poem.

If the mission succeeds, China would be the second nation to land on Mars and operate a rover after the United States. Russia had landed in 1971, but communication broke down immediately after touchdown. A landing on Mars is considered to be particularly risky. So far, only half of all attempts have been successful. China’s mission is one of three flights to Mars this summer.

Mars is closest to Earth between July and August – a constellation like this only occurs every two years. In the early Monday morning, the United Arab Emirates launched the first Arabian Mars probe into space using a Japanese rocket. But it should not land. In a week, the United States plans to launch a spaceship to land on Mars with the Perseverance rover.

The Chinese launch was eagerly awaited because the new “Long March 5” rocket was deployed, and there had been some failures in its development.

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China launches missile for its first landing on Mars

China launched a rocket with a spaceship on board to Mars. The launch vehicle of the new, high-performance type “Long March 5” took off on Thursday from the space station in Wenchang on the south Chinese island of Hainan. The five-ton spaceship consists of an orbiter, a landing device and a vehicle the size of a golf cart.

Unlike other space nations, China is trying to land on the Red Planet during its first independent Mars mission. The spaceship is scheduled to reach Mars in February, but will not land until two or three months later. The name “Tianwen-1” can be translated as “Questions to Heaven” and is borrowed from an ancient Chinese poem.

If the mission succeeds, China would be the second nation to land on Mars and operate a rover after the United States. Russia had landed in 1971, but communication broke down immediately after touchdown. A landing on Mars is considered to be particularly risky. So far, only half of all attempts have been successful. China’s mission is one of three flights to Mars this summer.

Mars is closest to Earth between July and August – a constellation like this only occurs every two years. In the early Monday morning, the United Arab Emirates launched the first Arabian Mars probe into space using a Japanese rocket. But it should not land. In a week, the United States plans to launch a spaceship to land on Mars with the Perseverance rover.

The Chinese launch was eagerly awaited because the new “Long March 5” rocket was deployed, and there had been some failures in its development.

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