Paris 2024 Olympic Games: In training in Montpellier, the French women's saber team is preparing for the event in ideal conditions

Paris 2024 Olympic Games: In training in Montpellier, the French women's saber team is preparing for the event in ideal conditions

Sara Balzer (2e en partant de la gauche) et les Bleues en stage à Montpellier. Midi Libre – LF

Favorites for the Olympic team title in Paris, Sara Balzer and the Blues train in the Muc Escrime weapons room and in the Creps de Montpellier facilities.

Crossing Place Jacques-Mirouze, bathed in sunlight and overwhelmed by the heat, no one can imagine that in the basement, probable futures are taking place Olympic medalists.

In the complete anonymity and much sought-after calm of the superb fencing room of the MUC Escrime, the sabre players of the French team multiply the duels on the pistes. Equipped with their face-covering masks and a white outfit marked “FRA”, they clash their sabers after one of their teammates in the role of the referee gives the commands: “On guard, ready, go!”

Balzer: “Enjoy the last moments”

Less than a month before the Olympic Games where Les Bleues will be favorites to win the supreme title in the exceptional setting of the Grand Palais in Paris, they are fine-tuning the final settings, not without a touch of impatience: "I am happy with the program for the next few weeks, rejoices Sara Balzer (29), leader of the French team and best saber fencer in the world ranking. We feel that the Games are coming, I can't wait, we've been waiting for this for a very long time and the time is starting to get long. I try to take advantage of the last moments, of each emotion that passes through me and to reassure myself about my game. These are unique, rare moments that we may not relive, you never know.’ ;quot;

Unlike Sara Balzer, Olympic team vice-champion in Tokyo in 2021, her partner Sarah Noutcha (24 years old) will participate in her first Olympics: "I'm a little impatient, I want to discover everything: the atmosphere, the competition, the village…" For the moment, they have put their bags down at Montpellier until Tuesday.

"A large and comfortable weapons room"

Les Bleues almost complete – only Manon Apithy-Brunet is missing – navigate between the Muc weapons room and Creps. "This internship allows us to get together but also to see the sun, to get away from everyday life and to enjoy beautiful facilities", notes Sara Balzer.

The atmosphere is studious interspersed with warmer moments between these women who know each other inside out and who will be aiming for Olympic team gold in Paris at the end of July& ;nbsp;: "Coming to Montpellier allows you to get away from Paris and its hustle and bustle but also to break with habits, explains Matthieu Gourdain, the manager of the French women's saber team. The weapons room is spacious and comfortable, there are many tracks, we are protected from the heat…"

Hoping that they return to Hérault soon with the Olympic gold medal around their necks.

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