The 5th day of the European Championships in Munich, Monday August 15, was obviously marked by the abandonment of Kevin Mayer. A hard blow for the French athletics delegation but, fortunately, other disciplines have enabled France to enrich its medal count.
Track cycling (two titles for Landerneau and Grondin) and table tennis, with the pair Emmanuel Lebesson-Jianan Yuan crowned, covered the tricolor delegations present in Munichthree with gold.
Decathlon: the wisdom of the hero
Even Achilles has his weaknesses. In this case, it was not the heel for Kevin Mayer, but the thigh. Affected in the adductors, an injury that had been smoldering since his world title in Eugene a few weeks earlier, the Frenchman did not want to take the risk of continuing his decathlon and aggravating the wound. From the first event, the 100 meters, the French cut his effort even before the finish line. He had already understood. Understood that the pain would be too strong to allow him to envisage a World-Europe double in three weeks. Wisely, the Montpellier player decided to abandon his continental dreams, preferring to preserve those, even greater, of Olympus.
Track cycling: Landerneau will make noise
It is one of the new headliners of the revival of tricolor track cycling. At 24, Melvin Landerneau won the kilometer event to give France another gold medal on the German velodrome. Thanks to an impressive finish, the Habs finally dominated the Italian Matteo Bianchi to take the gold. All while being the only competitor, in the end, to go under the minute during this kilometer test (59”75).
Track cycling: Grondin, the omnium in a hurry
At 21, Donovan Grondin has his whole future ahead of him, but the French cyclist wants everything, right away. Starting with the title in the Omnium where he showed old-timer racing skills to win at the end of the last sprint of the points race. At the end of an incredible final, the Habs settled in the last meters the Italian Consonni and the Spaniard Mora Vedri, and proved if it was still needed, that French track cycling was indeed back in the world. Mountain peak.
Table tennis: the perseverance bonus
Fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, bronze medalist at the last European Championships in 2021, the French pair made up of Emmanuel Lebesson and Jianan Yuan this time touched the Grail in mixed doubles. And, in the final, the pair had to fight again after losing the first set against the Romanians Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs. The latter therefore led by a set to nothing before Lebesson finally got in tune with his partner to sign three victorious sets in a row (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9).
Track cycling: Copponi and Gros came close
Clara Copponi will be able to ruminate on this omnium race for a long time. A race that she dominated for a long time before the last event, that of the points race. At first all in control, the Aixoise seemed launched towards gold when, halfway through the race, a massive fall interrupted the competitors and required an interruption of the race to be able to evacuate two athletes and repair the damaged track. After more than 40 minutes of waiting, the cars were released again but the Frenchwoman had undoubtedly lost a lot of influx during the cut. Thus, she was unable to counter the Italian Rachele Barbieri, who started from afar. Copponi can still hope to get her revenge, on the road this time, during the women’s road race on Sunday.
Same regrets, or almost, for Mathilde Gros. The Frenchman came a few centimeters from dropping, in front of an audience won over to the cause of her opponent, the German Emma Hinze. The latter, double reigning world champion, needed three rounds to triumph, a gut, the great female tricolor hope (23 years old) in the sprint event.
Climbing: Moro climbs on the 3rd step
It only took 5 seconds and 551 thousandths for Frenchman Guillaume Moro to win the bronze medal in the climbing speed test. The 27-year-old from Isère, beaten by the future winner, the Ukrainian Danyl Boldyrev, in the semi-finals, dominated the Spaniard Erik Noya in the small final. A nice revenge for the one who finished in 4th place at the last Worlds and who can now dream of Paris 2024.