Thirteen medals. This is the assessment of the tricolor delegation at the end of the seventh day of competition in Tokyo. With only three Olympic titles, five silver medals and as many bronze medals, France is lagging behind previous editions. An observation shared by Roxana Maracineanu, the Minister for Sports. “We knew we couldn’t do better than in Rio (42), that’s why we were counting on forty medals if things were going well”, explained the former swimmer at the microphone of BFMTV.
This start to the Games was marked by the failure of many favorites on the French side, who missed out on the medal or did not obtain the coveted metal. . “It is true that with the Japanese environment, very high temperatures, inclement weather the following days and complicated sanitary conditions give the challengers more chances of success. aa smiles for France because yesterday (Thursday) we had some unexpected medals Today, it is less the case, with favorites in the final which did not materialize. are the hazards of sporting competitions. “
Currently ninth in the medal ranking, France is the third European nation, behind Great Britain (6th) and the Netherlands (8th), far from the top 5 hoped for by the Minister of Sports. “Today, we want to believe it and finish in the first European nations. Obviously, the GB are always in front but we are just behind.”
Claude Onesta, manager of the French high level, also returns to the initial objective of 40 medals: “What we ended up saying, it is that for 20 years we have between 35 and 42 medals, we do not see why, since the crisis is global, we would have a lot more or a lot less, so we ended up saying 40. But we will especially analyze those we have , the ones we hoped to have, and what to do for the three years that remain before Paris.
With a view to Paris 2024, the government wants to build on the British success since the London Olympics to relaunch the blue machine. “What the British did for their Olympic Games is very inspiring and we are trying to have a similar organization, even if it meets our specificities. We have put in the financial means, with the creation of National Sports Agency. We wanted to lead and oversee the Federations “, continues Roxana Maracineanu.
A plan which would allow French swimming in particular to find new life after the disappointment in the Japanese pools. “There weren’t any good surprises today with swimming, even if we have young people like LÃ © on Marchand, Maxime Grousset and Marie Wattel who did well. It may be promising for Paris 2024 on condition that we know how to maintain these talents, insists Roxana Maracineanu. The ministry and the Federations must give the necessary energy to continue for another three years. a question of generations. We have known great champions, with Laure Manaudou and a generation of boys who have won great titles, in relay and individual. ” We must now save the furniture in Tokyo, before switching to the Olympics at home, where a return to form is expected.