In the mixed area of the Tokyo Aquatics Center, Marie Wattel, 24, struggles to dry her tears.
“Years of work that pay off, loose the Habs between two sobs.
I said to myself, give it all, don't hold back anything.
It's not every day that we are at the Olympics.
I may have toasted cartridges for the final but I'm so proud!
I put all my rage.
Party according to her to fight for 7th or 8th place, Wattel signed the second time in the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly behind the untouchable Chinese Yufei Zhang with a new France record (56''16). "I managed to prove to myself that I can be among the best", slips the European champion after having found her voice.
In Rio, Wattel plunged for the first time in the large Olympic bath. With a 7th place in the 100m butterfly heats and a little too fast taking over which had caused the disqualification of the 4x100m medley. On her return from Brazil, the young woman chose exile. Goodbye Nice, direction England and the Loughborough campus, to discover new training methods and to pursue graduate studies in sports management. A somewhat American-style operation that allowed him to flourish and glean his first international medals in 2017.
#EnDirect # Tokyo2020 # swimming
Semi-finals 100m butterfly ladies
Superb race of Marie Wattel who took second place in 56.16 (NEW RECORD FROM FRANCE 🇫🇷 🤩💪) #TeamFFN #Allezlesbleus
📸 KMSP / S.Kempinaire pic.twitter.com/ Np9TlrJKnO
- FFN (@FFNatation) July 25, 2021
“It's true that I have come a long way, observes the young woman, not stingy when it comes to rolling up the Channel.
I've always been consistent, I never relaxed or gave up and it's starting to pay off.
These are 5 years of effort and questioning.
In England, at least, my opinion counted in my preparation.
It was not just a coach who decided for me.
I needed support, people who believe in me, when I had not felt supported in France.
North of Leicester, which she will definitively leave after the Games to take a new step forward, Wattel has found a setting that matches her dimensions. “In France, we do not dare to display our ambitions or we are too arrogant. We have to learn to believe in ourselves if our name is not Florent Manaudou. With us, we rely too much on people full of talent and we forget those who also have great potential but not incredible as is my case. We must stop devaluing ourselves. "
The young woman took the opportunity to validate a thesis on the governance of swimming that she nurtured during her participation in the private ISL league last fall. In the health bubble of Budapest, Lille has observed a lot. And well retained. “It really is a human experience that should not be overlooked,” she explains. There are a lot of nationalities, a lot of sharing and it allows you to learn with the best in the world. You can be on the same team as your main opponents at the Worlds or the Olympics. You see what they are doing and you realize that they are not that different from you and it allows you to relax. It was also a trigger to realize that there is nothing magic about other people. They are hard workers and they want to win. "
🏊🇫🇷⚡ What a performance by Marie Wattel who explodes her personal best in the 100-meter butterfly semifinals!
#Swimming # Tokyo2020 #Olympic
Games Follow the Olympics live ▶ https://t.co/wRM6q9VOGt pic.twitter.com/D4CdesiAND
- France tv sport (@francetvsport) July 25, 2021
In six weeks of proximity, Wattel lowered the height of the pedestal to that of the starting block.
“In other competitions, we just cross paths in the call room and we can't see the moments of doubt.
Yet all champions doubt.
Or conversely they are totally relaxed, going for a beer.
It is important to desecrate the person.
It's also cool to relay with them and bring things to each other.
I really felt like I was giving them something.
The new leader of the Bleues, who is also aiming for a final over 100 m NL, now has a real opportunity to get ahead of them. "And whatever happens, she says, it will be experience for the Paris Olympics ..."