one year before the Paris 2024 Olympics, the French open sea is not up to par

French open water swimmers failed to finish on any podium after five rounds of the Fukuoka World Aquatics Championships, the first time for ten years.

Zero points for open water French swimming. If the Italian divers got on the podium during the World Swimming Championships (from 15th to 30th July), in Fukuoka (Japan), the open water specialists did nothing, a sad first for ten years. One year before the Paris Olympic Games, players of the discipline are claiming a “interrogation”. Urgent one year from the Paris Olympics.

Last year, Budapest allowed the Blues to win two individual silver medals. The bay of Momochi Seaside Beachpark in Fukuoka, on the other hand, didn’t smile at the French team, which had no rivals with the Germans (five medals including four titles) and the Italians (three medals).

Marc-Antoine Olivier was deprived of selection at the World Cup in Fukuoka (Japan) for "failure to respect the values ​​and principles of collective functioning", explained the French Swimming Federation.  (KEMPINAIRE STEPHANE / AFP)

In the absence of Marc-Antoine Olivier, who was not selected for disciplinary reasons, the best individual result came from the expert Aurélie Muller, seventh in the 5km, while the medley relay finished only in fifth place on Thursday, far behind the Italian winners. In the only scheduled distance of the Olympic Games, the 10 km, the French Anastasiia Kirpichnikova and Océane Cassignol placed 13th and 16th, while Logan Fontaine and Sacha Velly finished 9th and 12th.

“They kicked our asses”

“They kicked our asses”he had then rehired Stéphane Lecat, the boss of the French open water. “We are inevitably disappointed. In the relay we expected to fight for third place, and overall we are quite disappointed by all the events,” admitted for his part the technical director of French swimming, Julien Issoulié. “We’ll have to ask ourselves some questions.”

At the end of the relay, the French swimmers didn’t hide their disappointment. “We have to face reality, we finish fifth because we simply don’t have the level”esteemed late torch bearer David Aubry. “One year before the Games, we will have to challenge ourselves to play next year. It’s all very well to say that we are French and that the Games are at home, but precisely, we have to work”. When asked which axes to work on between now and the Games, Aurélie Muller, last year’s 5 km world vice-champion, opted for a lapidary answer: “Everything. There is everything to review.”

The interrogation will begin after a few days of rest. The Blues will reunite for an internship in Vichy, where they plan to put things right before the World Cup leg scheduled in Paris on August 5 and 6.

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