Taekwondo: Montpellier Théo Lucien has not yet completely digested his non-selection for the Olympic Games

Taekwondo: Montpellier Théo Lucien has not yet completely digested his non-selection for the Olympic Games

Théo Lucien est vice-champion du monde militaire. World Taekwondo

Entretien avec l’athlète du 3MTKD (22 ans) qui sera remplaçant aux JO dans la catégorie – 68kg et qui vient de remporter une médaille d’argent au Mondial militaire.

In – 68kg, the federation preferred to select Souleyman Alaphillipe rather than you for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. How did you take the news??

It was hard to digest for a good week because I did a lot of Olympic preparation. I was good in the last competitions but it wasn’t enough. I ended up going over, I have no choice since I am part of the French Olympic team as a substitute.

Did you understand this decision ?

No. I think we both had the level to go to the Games. The federation really hesitated but I have not yet completely accepted the fact of not having been taken. I have to train until the end. I'm going to attend the Olympics, I didn't want to go originally but I have to go. It will be beautiful to see, it’s not to be missed.

You have just been crowned vice-champion of the military world in South Korea. How did the competition go??

I come back with a silver medal. I had a very good final against the reigning Olympic champion, I lost both rounds by one point. He is an opponent who will be at the Olympic Games this summer and who has the level to win another gold medal. This shows that I have the level despite the fact that I am a substitute in Paris.

How were you able to participate in this military competition ?

For seven months, I have been a member of the Joinville Battalion in the Air Force. It’s essential support for my career. I thank the army because I can be seconded and practice my sport at a high level by representing France internationally. I was able to train without having to worry about the financial aspect. When I started my career in 2021-2022, I had just obtained my Baccalaureate, I was working at the same time to pay my rent. The support of the army allowed me to free myself mentally.

At the beginning of May, you participated in the European Championship, a competition where you won a bronze medal in 2022…

I lost in the quarter-finals. It was a few days before the Olympic selection was announced and I went there with very little desire. I didn't even want to go, I didn't have the motivation to fight. Looking back, I still regret having missed out on a European medal.

What is the place of your club, 3MTKD, in your career ?

I am from Strasbourg and I moved to Montpellier with my mother when I entered college. By chance, we were very close to 3MTKD and I was lucky enough to fall into the best club in France which I consider like a second family. I am also lucky to have Karim Bellahcène and Mohamed El Yazidi by my side. Thanks to them, I am the man I have become. They participated in my education and helped me reach this international level and be an alternate at the Olympic Games.

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