• Emmanuel Lebesson and Jia Nan Yuan missed the bronze medal on Monday at the Tokyo Olympics by losing to the world number 1 pair from Taiwan.

  • This result is still a small event for the French ping, which had not reached this level at the Games since 2000.

  • It proves that in doubles, as in team, all hope is not lost for the years to come despite the outrageous domination of the Chinese, and Asians in general.

From our special correspondent in Tokyo,

Patrick Chila believed in it, but to his chagrin, he will remain for at least three years the last French medalist in table tennis at the Olympics.

It was in 2000, in doubles with Jean-Philippe Gatien, with a third place coming to reward their years of good and loyal service before the keel.

In his coach chair on Monday, he was unable to do anything to get Emmanuel Lebesson and Jia Nan Yuan out of Taiwan's grip in this mixed doubles bronze medal match.

Defeat 4-0 in the end against the world number 1 pair, a completely logical score but which does not tell everything about the end of sets that could have turned out better, especially the first three.

Lost among the Asians

“I would have liked it today [our successors], blows the one who is now national coach of the boys.

We are disappointed, because we find ourselves in the place of the con, but they achieved something great in this tournament.

A year and a half ago they were far from the Games, there they are leaving 8, it is a very big performance to be there.


To be there, that is to say lost in the midst of Asians, who still dominate the world ping.

28 titles out of 33 for China in history, all events combined, three for South Korea, the first for Japan on Monday, and then the Swedish intruder Jan-Ove Waldner, Olympic champion ahead of Philou Gatien in 1992, when China had not yet started producing battery-powered table tennis players.

Since the early 2000s, the sport has been truly polarized in the east, with Europeans barely snatching a world charm twice a decade. Difficult in these conditions to exist for the French. So this half, it should be savored. “It's wonderful for the Fed. We are told that we are not a medal-winning sport, we have proven that we are, supports Chila. We have chances, in teams, in mixed, if we have good tables we can do things. In singles we start from further, but we count too. "

The former European team champion (twice, even) sees it as an encouragement for the three to come.

He is not the only one.

Emmanuel Lebesson will not leave the same from Tokyo (after the singles and the team, anyway).

“This double is a chance for an Olympic medal.

I didn't believe it 100% before this tournament, but we showed that we were competitive for that, estimates the left-hander, 2016 European champion. We've been playing together for a year and a half, we're a pair. young.

We still have a lot of work to do, but we are in the game. "

Our dossier on the 2021 Olympics

For that, it will still be necessary to change the method.

France is not used to working its doubles excessively.

"It's a real question, and it will be said at the debrief," adds Lebesson.

You have to work even more specifically than that.

Asians do doubles much more regularly in training.

We did it over a period of time, but we need to do more.

“That's good, the general manager of High performance within the National Sports Agency, Claude Onesta, was in the stands.


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