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French sprinter eyes gold in Berlin

Text by Thibault LIEURADE

Latest update : 2009-08-14

Christophe Lemaitre, France's most promising sprinter in years, believes the French 4x100m relay team can have a shot at gold in Berlin. He spoke to FRANCE 24 on the eve of his departure for the world championships.

FRANCE 24 interviewed Lemaitre on the eve of his departure for the World Championships in Berlin, which take place from August 15-23.  The athlete made no mystery of his ambitions of being up there with the best.


FRANCE 24: You are in the 100m sprint as well as on the French relay team for the 4x100m in Berlin. What are your goals?


Christophe Lemaitre: Personally, I want to come under 10 seconds for the 100m. I will try to have everything go well on the first day [of the 100m series] and I’ll do all I can in the semis to get to the final. As for the relay, we’re all in sync as a team, and we all equally want the title of world champion. We think we can do it.



F24: How are you preparing for the World Championships?


CL: I still have another training session before my prep work is finished. I’ve worked on my starts and my running technique, particularly in the last few metres. We aren’t obsessing about one part in particular because we don’t want to overlook anything.



F24: You’re arriving in Berlin as a rising star of French athletics. Do you feel any additional pressure?


CL: No, I’m not too stressed. I just want to be out there on the track.



F24: What effect did it have on you to learn that you might be running alongside Usain Bolt (Olympic champion and world record holder)?


CL: It added to the excitement. Running against him would even be advantageous. It will let me push myself to my limits, go even further. That’s what’s allowed me to get as far as I could during the championships.



F24: Do you have heroes in the world of sports?


CL: No, not at all.



F24: Why did you refuse offers to run for US universities and for professional French athletic clubs in order to stay at Aix-les-Bains?


CL: For the moment, I’m very happy at Aix-les-Bains and I’m still making progress there. I don’t think I’m ready to leave the place where I started.


Date created : 2009-08-12