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The French para-cycling team won four medals on Tuesday, one of which was gold thanks to the duo Alexandre Lloveras and Corentin Ermenault in the road time trial (class B). In athletics, Charles-Antoine Kouakou is also on the top step of the podium in the 400 meters (T20).
The French Paralympic team won, Tuesday, August 31, a fifth gold medal thanks to Alexandre Lloveras and his guide Corentin Ermenault on the road time trial (class B). They dominated the Dutchman Vincent Schure from start to finish, helped by his driver Timo Fransen. The Spaniards Christian Venge Balboa and Noel Martin Infante completed the podium.
Vice-world champion in the specialty, the French pair associating cyclists Alexandre Lloveras, visually impaired from birth, to former professional Corentin Ermenault had left frustrated with his fourth place on the track in the individual pursuit. This is the first Paralympic Games for 20-year-old Alexander Lloveras, who came to cycling in 2018 only, after practicing high-level athletics.
He explained, a few days ago, having had “stars in his eyes” when he learned of his association with Corentin Ermenault, 25 years old, former professional peloton within the Vital Concept team, who had confided to have “done a burn out of the bike “before returning to the track with Alexandre.
🗣️🥇 Alexandre Lloveras: “Thank you to my father, to my mother! It is for them this medal”
In Gold in the class B time trial, Alexandre Lloveras and Corentin Ermenault are euphoric. Well done gentlemen!
➡ Follow the Paralympic Games live: https://t.co/oichVBTC5u pic.twitter.com/RQ6FuILUC6
– francetvsport (@francetvsport) August 31, 2021
The athlete Charles-Antoine Kouakou also won gold in the Tokyo stadium in the final of the 400m T20 (category reserved for the intellectually disabled). The 23-year-old native of Paris completed the lap in 47 sec 63 ahead of Venezuelan Luis Felipe Rodriguez Bolivar (47 sec 71) and Briton Columba Blango (47 sec 81).
It is also the third medal of French adapted sport, the counterpart of disabled sports for people with cognitive disabilities, since Léa Ferney (silver) and Lucas Créange (bronze) had paved the way in table tennis.
A third medal for Alexandre Léauté
For his part, Alexandre Léauté is unstoppable. The French cyclist won a third medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. He took bronze in the road time trial (C2).
“I was unlucky with my front range which has derailed several times”, however regretted the world champion of the discipline in this category since June.
First gold medalist of the French delegation after winning Thursday, on the track of the Izu velodrome, the individual pursuit, the 20-year-old Breton climbed the next day on the second step of the kilometer (C1-3).
“I think doing several track events did not benefit me, my competitors did only one but I am not looking for excuses, they were stronger today”, judges the one who has also competed on Saturday in team sprint, which he finished in fourth place.
Towards a fourth medal?
He can still hope for a fourth podium for his first Games on Thursday in the road race. “A fourth medal, it might be complicated, but given what happened, I’ll be revenge”, projects the cyclist who pedals only one leg, having lost 95% of his muscle power right side due to stroke at birth.
The day of the time trial at Fuji Speedway is a success for French cyclists as Loïc Vergnaud took the silver for his first Games at 41 with his hand bike (H5). Tibial amputee of his right leg after an accident at work in 2004, he is aiming for a second podium in the road race on Wednesday, with his status as vice-world champion.
Florian Jouanny also won his first Paralympic medal with his handbike (H2). He won bronze as at the world championships in June. A quadriplegic following a skiing accident ten years ago, he can still use some of his arms and is hoping for another podium on Wednesday as a world medalist.
Thanks to its new awards, the French delegation now has 33 medals, six of which are gold. She has already exceeded Rio’s total (28) and is only two units away from the goal of 35 podiums set before the Games.