It was the turn of athletics, the number 1 sport of the Olympic Games, to take to the track on Friday morning.
And the French, who will be 64 to participate (43 men; 21 women), have chances of medals.
Even if it will be difficult to do as well as in Rio in 2016, where the French athletics had climbed six times on the podium.
Mayer and Lavillenie, the captains
The one-year postponement of the Games may have worked in favor of Kevin Mayer and Renaud Lavillenie. Both, silver medalists in Rio, took the time to recover, to treat their injuries
(Editor's note: Mayer had
given up at the Doha Worlds
, in September 2019, due to an Achilles tendon injury)
. Since then, Renaud Lavillenie has returned to bars beyond 6 meters this winter, Kevin Mayer was able to prepare after his qualifying decathlon (made compulsory due to his retirement in Doha), in December 2020 in Reunion. On paper, Mayer, Olympic vice-champion, is favorite. It remains to master your physique, and ensure that no sores appear during the two days of testing. Same problem for Renaud Lavillenie, who can dream of a podium
(Editor's note: even before Kendricks' package, tested positive for Covid)
, provided that his ankle holds.
Launchers now icons
Mélina Robert-Michon, “mama discus” who participated at the age of 42 in her 6th discus games, Alexandra Tavernier and Quentin Bigot with the hammer… Long perceived as extraterrestrials, members apart in the athletics family, the throwers are on the way to becoming sure values.
They are three to appear in the World Top 8 and therefore hope to elbow for the podium.
All three have already gleaned international medals: three for Mélina Robert-Michon, including Olympic silver in 2016;
one for Alexandra Tavernier (bronze at the 2015 Worlds), while Quentin Bigot remains on a silver medal at the Doha Worlds.
Both hammer throwers improved their records this summer.
What to hope for high.
To read alsoJO de Tokyo: the results of all French people this Thursday, July 29
Belocian or Lamotte, the chef's surprise?
The Games sometimes have some nice surprises in store, Christophe Lemaitre, absent this year and tanned over 200m in Rio, knows all about it. This time, Wilhem Belocian has all the cards in hand to imitate Dimitri Bascou, bronze medalist in 2016 over 110 m hurdles. Often undermined by physical glitches, this time he is in good shape. The French hurdlers are often placed, rarely victorious. A podium would be a hell of a great performance. It will be more complicated for Rénelle Lamotte, who still lacks (a little) experience in the world finals. But why not ? The two-time European silver medalist descended below 1′58 (1′57′'98) for the first time in Monaco in early July. Yohann Diniz on the podium in the 50 km walk would also be a surprise.But the one who made walking in France known is no longer just a stroke of brilliance. His races - this will be the last - have always been spectacular. He won, he threw up, he fell, he was a victim of discomfort. What does he have in store for us this time?