2022 European Championships | A black day for the French defeat

2022 European Championships |  A black day for the French defeat

FRANCE, GROUSSET Maxime, RIHOUX Charles, BONNET Charlotte, WATTEL Marie – Photo by Icon sport

Monday August 15, 2022 will be remembered as one of those days when the FFL failed to find the weapons to counter the French wave. A dark day that we will try to explain to you, but also to forget as quickly as possible.

The European Championships had however started in the best of ways in the stands. Always important to mark your territory, no matter what country you are in.

Monday August 15, 2022. The day is off to a good start. After his world title in the decathlon, Kevin Mayer retired from the first event. On 100 meters, the French felt that his body would not follow. The FFL wishes him a speedy recovery, and thanks him for not having martyred us again in front of millions of people.

But from the middle of the afternoon, hostilities begin. While our naive eyes are riveted on the French swimmers, it is ultimately the French artistic swimming team that brings home the first medal of the day. In bronze, yes, but enough to alert us to the raid to come.

Track cycling, high treason

Landerneau – Grondin, the double of discord

We admit, it still does not pass. Qualified in the final of the kilometer event, Melvin Landerneau is not one to say that the most important thing is to participate. No, for the French, happiness lies elsewhere. In paths that we will never dare to take. In the last lap of the clock, Melvin plays with the Italian Matteo Bianchi and wins the gold medal on the gong. The worst scenario we could witness.

But track cycling obviously had a grudge against our federation. The coronation of Melvin Landerneau could not be enough, it was necessary to push the knife again into the raw wound. Committed to the omnium, where four events are contested, namely the scratch, the tempo, the elimination and the points, Donovan Grondin has shown rare intelligence. Started cautiously on the first two events, Donovan shows himself on the elimination by winning it.

As always, the race for points determines once and for all the identity of the winner. With only one lap left to go, three riders are tied on points. With 144 units each, Donovan Grondin, Simone Consonni and Mora Vedri are fighting for the European title. And like Melvin a few hours earlier, Donovan settles the sprint against the Italian. Seeing a Frenchman win the omnium is hard. But seeing him triumph in the last sprint of the last race is downright torture.

Copponi – Big, unique grounds for hope

Clara Copponi took the opposite path to Donovan Grondin. In the lead during the first events after winning the tempo and elimination, the Aixoise collapsed during the points race against the Italian Rachele Barbieri. The 40-minute interruption due to a massive crash certainly played a major role. A major disappointment, of course, but which still brings a silver medal to the French delegation. Shared feelings.

Clara won’t feel alone for very long. Only a few minutes later, Mathilde Gros has another tasty gold medal in store for us. Opposed to the German world champion Emma Hinze, Mathilde does not allow herself to be intimidated. And offers an ophthalmic duel at the top.

This did not prevent the German from winning the first round, before Mathilde won the next one. The beauty must then decide between the two cyclists. The finish is ultra tight, but it is Emma Hinze who wins the European title for a half gut.

Individual sprint is a one-on-one sport, and in the end, Germany wins.

Table tennis, the bad surprise

Committed in mixed doubles, Emmanuel Lebesson and Jianan Yuan had struck a blow during the last Olympic Games. A chocolate medal obtained with panache. But during these European Championships, we understood that the wheel turns very quickly in sport. During the last edition last year, the Blues missed the final by missing four match points. And won a tasteless bronze medal for their taste.

β€œWe had been waiting to erase this defeat for a year” J. Yuan

After the chocolate and bronze medals, the logical sequence would have wanted the silver to be placed around their necks. And the loss of the first set against the Romanian pair only confirms this theory. But in a surge of inexplicable desperation, Emmanuel and Jianan snatched the next three to clinch the title. Racquet sports have been kinder to us in the past.

Swimming, the FFL (still) casting

Only two months after the World Championships in Budapest, and the hatching of LΓ©on Marchand, French swimming is once again enjoying making our feds drink the cup. In the 100m butterfly, Marie Wattel won the gold medal in Hungary. But in Rome, the French had a much better outcome. Best time in the semi-finals, Marie logically leads in the first 50 meters of the final. But the Frenchwoman collapses masterfully in the final meters and offers the golden charm to the Swedish Hansson.

Of course, we couldn’t taste our pleasure for very long. The 4 x 100 m mixed freestyle relay had to come and weigh down the evening. Composed of Maxime Grousset, Charles Rihoux, Marie Wattel and Charlotte Bonnet, the tricolor relay left us no chance. Half a second faster than the British, the French added a fourth gold medal on the day. Words fail us.

With 30 medals, France is the most prolific nation in the standings. Only one gold medal from the German leader, yet at home. A shame.

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