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London Paralympics : France wants another medal rush
Depuis mercredi 29 août, les Jeux Paralympiques les plus médiatisés de l’histoire prennent place à Londres, Londres qui aura décidemment assumé avec brio son statut de ville hôte du sport mondial. La cérémonie d’ouverture fut somptueuse, mais c’est encore une fois l’accueil aux athlètes qui a touché et surpris toutes les délégations, à commencer par celle de la France, qui, sur la lancée de JO réussis, veut faire son trou parmi les dix meilleures nations mondiales. Et cela a plutôt bien débuté, puisque les Bleus ont déjà empoché quatre médailles dont 1 en or.
Gold : Charles Rozoy (swimming) :
Four years ago, during the Beijing Games, he was in hospital, as he lost the use of one of his arms in a motor bike accident. This is a tremendous come-back for Rozoy, as he won the 100m butterfly final, with a dazzling time of 1:01.24, only 12 seconds adrift legendary Michael Phelps’ world record. Awesome
BRONZE : Elodie Lorandi (swimming):
The Cannes-born 23-year old athlete, whose left leg is paralysed, broke the European record but that was not enough to win the gold medal (28’67). She finished third and won a bronze medal.
BRONZE : Laurent Thirionet (cycling) :
A true legend. The 44-year old architect, whose left leg was amputated, won his seventh Olympic medal, finishing third in the individual pursuit.
And here is a brief overview of the best prospects for gold in this competition.
Arnaud Assoumani (long jump) :
Left forearm amputee 2008 Paralympic champion failed to qualify for the Olympics because of an injury but he’s now in top shape and he will try to overcome disappointment by winning the 4th competition in which he is taking part.
Assia El Hannouni (athletics) :
The almost-blind athlete is one of the stars of her sport, as she has already won 6 gold medals. For her last Paralympics, she is aiming for three new triumphs, in the 100m, 200m.
Laurent François (fencing):
The 44-year old Frenchman, who is hemiplegic, is the leader of his team, and he is targeting two gold medals in the individual and team events.
Jérôme Lambert (cycling ) :
Nicknamed ‘Skippy’, after the famous TV kangaroo. But as soon as he’s riding his bike, the 27-year old Frenchman becomes a true lion. He is already a two-time French champion in the race event.
David Smétanine (swimming) :
With Assia El Hannouni, he is the most successful athlete in the French team. He will try to retain his titles in the 50m and 100m freestyle events. Smétanine, who is tetraplegic, is also renowned for his Ken-like style.
Damien Seguin (Sailing) :
The flag-bearer, who has no left hand, is one of the best hopes for gold, as he won the gold medal in Athens, and finished second in Beijing. Above all, he is a great ambassador for all French Paralympic athletes.