• Every Monday, 

    20 Minutes

     gives the floor to a sports actor or actress who is making the news.

    This week, it's time for Wilhem Belocian, specialist in the 60m and 110m hurdles.

  • The Guadeloupean, after good results this winter, is taking part in the world indoor championships in Belgrade, from Friday to Sunday.

  • If he is now dismissed in Lille, Wilhem Belocian continues to train in the West Indies.

Right now he is flying over the hedges.

French champion at Miramas, winner of the Mondeville meeting, Wilhem Belocian snatched victory during the meeting at Bercy a week ago over 60m hurdles.

It doesn't take much to consider him one of the favorites for the indoor world championships which begin on Friday in Belgrade.

The Guadeloupean, very attached to the West Indies, where he trains all year round, confided in

20 Minutes

before the Serbian meeting.

At the start of the year, you hesitated to take part in the indoor season.

And then, three races won, a selection for the Worlds.

What happened ?

I wasn't sure if I would participate in the winter season because I had a big injury before the Olympics and it got even worse at the Olympics [he couldn't finish his race].

And I hurt myself again at the beginning of December.

So I said to myself that I didn't want to rush things, I'm starting the specific at the end of January.

So it was a bit: “We'll see, we're not rushing things, no pressure.

“Except that, finally, I see that in training, it's going well, and in competitions, it's not bad.

So I went all the way and if the “Worlds” presented themselves to me, I went there.

How was the mental digestion of the Olympics, after this abandonment, five years after a race where you were taken out for a false start?

In Tokyo, it was obviously still a big disappointment, but the two Olympics are not comparable, because it is not the same pattern.

In 2016, these are my first Games, I am younger, I go out on a false start, it was a little more complicated.

The hottest mentally, emotionally and everything that follows was really in 2016. In 2021, I was still well followed by my mental coach and my psychologist to overcome this ordeal.

If I already had a mental trainer before 2016, the shrink has really followed me since the Games in Brazil and that helped me a lot to get back on track.

This winter, you signed for the Lille club, but you are still training in Guadeloupe...

In fact, I had wanted to change clubs for a while, but my wish was to stay in the West Indies to promote West Indian athletics.

Except that after a while, I wanted to change and Lille has a great project, especially in relation to Paris 2024. It's the club that could welcome me with everything I asked for.

It's a new adventure and I'm going to discover lots of little things that I didn't know before with my Guadeloupe clubs.

But the place of training does not change, I will just compete with the Lille jersey during competitions.

And if I ever need stuff, they'll help me, but I've already set up everything around me in Guadeloupe.

Are you also staying in the West Indies to prove that you can become and be a high-level athlete without necessarily having to come to mainland France?

That's really the message I wanted to convey by staying there.

It is above all to show the West Indians to trust what we have in Guadeloupe or the West Indies.

I admit that it is complicated for some, especially in relation to studies, who still have to go to mainland France.

Me, I have the chance to train in Guadeloupe and come to France to compete.

As long as I can do it, I will.

Is there a lack of equipment in Guadeloupe?

In terms of equipment, I really have everything I need.

I have my medical staff, my family, my loved ones.

What I have there is the environment I need to be psychologically calm and to be surrounded by good energy to approach competitions.

Between Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, Aurel Manga, Sasha Zhoya, you, how to explain this pool of patients on the hurdles, while the other disciplines of athletics have more difficulty finding several spearheads?

It's complicated to have a precise answer on this question, but we are lucky to have a big emulation at the national level.

So, for us, it's all good.

And that precisely allows to create this French school, where we know that, if you are good on the hurdles at the national level, you will be among the best in the world.

As soon as we arrive on the hurdles, we know that there are people ahead and that gives strength to the little ones to come and pick us up and dethrone us.

As is the case for Sasha Zhoya (19), the last nugget of hurdles, who broke your junior world record, which you were even able to train…

It was before he decided to take French nationality [beginning of 2020], I was with Ladji Doucouré on a session and I was able to give him ideas to improve, tell him what I thought of his technique.

What is good is that there is this exchange and it allows us all to progress.

There is no animosity between all of us [the hurdlers], but a good competitiveness to allow us to surpass ourselves at the national level.

And Sasha has the same mentality as me at her age, with the desire to break records after records.

Sport

Athletics: New pole vault world record for Armand Duplantis, who clears a bar at 6.19 m

Sport

Indoor Euro: Kevin Mayer and Wilhem Belocian bring two titles to France

  • Sport

  • 110m hurdles

  • Tokyo 2021 Olympics

  • Athletics

  • Athletics World Championships

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