Even in Tokyo, some French sportsmen have their heads in Paris. And not just because of the Tokyo Tower, a red metallic tower inspired by the Eiffel Tower. Because France will host the 2024 edition of the Summer Olympics, a first for a century, “Every athlete wants the Games at home”, assures Benjamin Toniutti, captain of the national volleyball team, who would see it well.
But first, there are these 2021 Games in Japan, organized from July 23 to August 8. Never has a deadline been so short in the history of the Olympics. Because the Covid-19 has also upset the sports calendar, pushing back the Tokyo meeting by one year, which however retained its official designation of origin, “Tokyo 2020”.
Favor Tokyo? Or warm up for Paris? It’s human: the answer depends on the age and maturity required for a particular sport. At 23, Marjorie Delassus (canoeing) obviously says to herself ” Very happy ” to play his first Games now. “A dream for many athletes, a childhood dream. “ This is a great opportunity for the young woman to hang a medal around her neck. But also and above all a way of“Accumulate a maximum of experience” for his “Real objective”, the one for which it is scheduled: Paris 2024.
“Make the most of 2021”
In view of its precocity, the reasoning is even more valid for Prithika Pavade, who took advantage of the postponement to qualify. The table tennis player will only celebrate her 20th birthday… in August 2024. In Tokyo, the high school student, who plays in a club in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), avoids specific plans. His dream in Paris? “An Olympic medal! “ A wish “Of the order of the unreal” to date, according to her. “We still have to wait and see how I progress. But I really believe that if I continue in this way to invest myself so much, it can do it. “
She has plenty of time. Like Madeleine Larcheron, barely 15 years old, on the verge of discovering the Olympic Games thanks to the entry of skateboarding into the Olympic program. “I hope to be able to compete in the Games in 2024, but this kind of occasion, it could just as well happen once in a lifetime, so I will make the most of 2021”, specifies the youngest of the French delegation.
Conversely, the Tokyo Games are supposed to be Mélina Robert-Michon’s last. The sixth in total, for the 42-year-old discobolus, outgoing Olympic vice-champion. The latest also from Yohann Diniz, one year his senior. The walker will compete in the 50 km event, which is itself preparing to leave the Olympic program.
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