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“Everything collapsed around them”: French wrestlers came close to death during the earthquake in Turkey


A delegation of young Tricolores, who came to play a tournament, was present in Kahramanmaraş at the time of the earthquake. They had just come from

This Tuesday afternoon, they will be back in Paris after having been close to death.

Seven French wrestlers and three supervisors, who left to compete in a U20 competition, found themselves in the heart of the earthquake which struck Turkey (and Syria) overnight from Sunday to Monday and where at least 5,000 people lost their lives.

"The cleaver really came close," says Lionel Lacaze, president of the French federation.

It's even incredible.

Everything collapsed around them and they got away without a scratch…” The Blues and the other delegations were spread over three hotels in Kahramanmaraş, in the south-east of the country, where a magnitude of 7.7 has been recorded.

Two collapsed at the time of the first tremors, including seven dead and twenty-five missing in the Turkish team.

A wrestling delegation was present in Turkey, close to the epicenter of the earthquake, for a tournament.

Athletes and coaches are doing well.

– FranceOlympique (@FranceOlympique) February 6, 2023

“It is devastating to hear that the earthquakes have taken the lives of so many people, and we are deeply saddened that seven brave wrestlers are among the many victims, reacted Nenad Lalovic, president of United World Wrestling, the federation international.

I pray for the families and the family of struggle sends our strength and support to the people of Turkey and Syria in this difficult time.


“We still have a hard time to realize”

The French athletes barely had time to leave their establishment with their colleagues from Uzbekistan and Kosovo and scatter the rubble before it collapsed a few minutes later like a house of cards.

A small miracle.

“They had nothing, but they saw everything, summarizes Lionel Lacaze.

We still have a hard time doing it.


Aurélie Aïm-Tuil, the national technical director, spent the last day coordinating with the French state and the Turkish federation the repatriation of its wrestlers and their staff.

The journey began with an evacuation by bus to the city of Adana, 225 km south of the area made sensitive by the earthquake.

Seven wrestlers perish as devastating earthquakes hit Kahramanmaraş, Turkiye 🇹🇷

— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) February 6, 2023

A delicate journey due to the destruction of certain road infrastructures and traffic jams of residents in a hurry to leave an area of ​​desolation.

In Adana, the Tricolores changed vehicles to reach Ankara, 500 km to the north, overnight from Monday to Tuesday.

In the capital, the French team was hosted by the Turkish federation before reaching the airport and boarding for France in the middle of the morning.

Upon arrival in Paris, the delegation will be taken care of by a psychological unit, organized by the FFLDA in collaboration with the services of Insep.

“The supervising team managed things very well on the spot to try to protect the wrestlers in such a context, blows the DTN.

But they were really at the heart of the tragedy.

There will surely be an awareness among them as and when.

The competent services will be there to help them.


Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-02-07

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