Will we see Christophe Lemaitre on the Khalifa stadium track? Package for the 200 m and not retained for the 4x100 m series, the French sprinter crosses the World Athletics as a shadow. To the point of doubting the usefulness of his selection for Doha.
The presence of the Olympic bronze medalist (2016) at these World Championships is more and more like an enigma. Drafted in extremis at the Blues after a poor start to the season, the 29-year-old rider is zapping one by one all his possible appointments in Qatar.
Two days before the start of the races, the French Federation said in a statement that Lemaitre had finally chosen not to run the 200m to concentrate on the relay.
"We made this decision because even if all the lights are green, the fact that Christophe has been repeatedly delayed in his preparation by genes or tensions leads us to find that he is not able to compete , currently, with the best sprinters of 200 m ", explained his coach Thierry Tribondeau.
- "Not enough in confidence" -
"He was not confident enough in the distance," said National Technical Director Patrice Gergès.
A euphemism when we know that the French record holder of the half-turn of the track (19 sec 80), returned at the beginning of July to the competition after a hamstring alert and who had already skipped the indoor season for cause calf pain, did not do better in 2019 than a pitiful 20 sec 40 out of 200 m, on August 24 at the meeting Diamond League of Paris. A very worrying performance that came just a month after a 6th place in the form of a warning at the French Championships.
"The sensations were not so bad, but the clock said the opposite," said the quadruple European champion Sunday to justify his renunciation. "You have to recognize it when you're not at the level."
Lemaitre out for the 200 m, he remained the relay 4x100 m to see him finally at work. But here too no trace of the sprinter of Culoz at the announcement of the composition of the French team for Friday's series, coaching having decided to align Amaury Golitin, Jimmy Vicaut, Meba-Mickael Zeze and Mouhamadou Fall .
- Funny Championships -
Lemaitre is therefore experiencing funny World Championships, to the point of perplexing his own teammates, like Jimmy Vicaut.
"He did the minima, he worked for, you go to the end what," dropped the European record holder in the 100 m about the surprise defection of his compatriot on the half-lap of the track. "There he did 20 seconds 40, it's not disgusting, he does not even know what he would have done here, and in Rio (at the 2016 Olympic Games, ed), he was 35th on the record and he do third. "
These Worlds confirm in any case the slow tumble of Lemaitre since his magnificent Olympic podium three years ago, the fault of a body more and more fragile. Unable to reach an international level final (semi-finals of the 200m at the World Cup-2017, package for the Euro-2018 due to injury), the Frenchman is now subscribed to the seasons cut by the wounds.
In a parallel movement, his lap times logically turn slow: the member of the AS Aix-les-Bains has not descended under 10 seconds on 100 m since 2011 and under 20 seconds on 200 m since 2012.
Impossible in these conditions to compete with the leaders of the world sprint. And we wonder what he came to do in Doha.
© 2019 AFP