The young French Yohann Ndoye Brouard and Mewen Tomac, who live their first Olympics, both stalled in the semi-finals of the 100 m backstroke, the first having even been surprised by the wall at the turn and having been disqualified on Monday in Tokyo.
"I did not see the flags, I thought I still had five meters left, and instead of turning around, I took the wall, said Ndoye Brouard, still incredulous. I took the wall in Olympic semi-final when the final was accessible, I am disgusted, I do not yet realize that I just missed this opportunity. I have never seen anyone to whom this was happening ... "
"In my head, I saw myself slower than that" while "I was more powerful than usual", he tries to explain.
"Frankly I had my best time, I was really good, that's why I surprised myself, I thought the wall was much further."
Tomac, he only swam the 14th time in 53 sec 62.
"I have the impression of swimming well, and arrived at 80-85 meters, I crack a lot, and it costs me a place in the final, he declares. At the turn I see Yohann (Ndoye Brouard, at the line of water next) completely behind, and I want to put too much of it because I don't really know where I am. "
The semi-finals were dominated by the American Ryan Murphy, reigning Olympic champion, in 52 sec 24. But the time to invite himself in the final, finally 53 sec 20, was quite accessible to the two young French, who have personal bests under 53 sec.
Ndoye Brouard was on his first individual international podium in mid-May by obtaining European bronze over the distance.
Both he and Tomac still have to swim the 200m backstroke in the Tokyo basin.
© 2021 AFP