Smiles and tears at the Olympics – update

This morning, 15 August, France has a total of 22 Olympic medals at the Rio Olympic Games: seven gold, eight silver and seven bronze. Of the 15 new Olympic champions and vice-champions, over half are from the military contingent which has won 10 medals: three gold (team cross-country equestrian event, men’s team épée, women’s RSX [windsurfer]) and six silver (4×100 mens freestyle swimming relay, 50m men’s freestyle swimming, women’s middleweight judo, women’s half heavyweight judo, rapid fire 25m pistol shooting, men’s team foil). The bronze medal was won in the men’s cycling team speed sprint.


Daniel Jerent, volunteer deputy gendarme, last night won the men’s team épée gold medal. Together with his civilian team mates Yannick Borel, Gauthier Grumier and Jean-Michel Lucenay he beat the Italians 45-31.

L'équipe d'épée exulte: de gauche à droite Daniel Jerent

An exultant French men’s épée team! From left to right: Jean-Michel Lucenay, Gauthier Grumier, Yannick Borel and Daniel Jerent


Petty Officer Charline Picon is the new RSX Olympic champion with 64 points beating Chinese competitor Peina Chen who had 66 points and Russia’s Stefania Elfutina with 69 points.

Charline Picon est entourée de Peina Chen et de Stefania

Charline Picon is flanked by Peina Chen and Stefania Elfutina


Sergeant Florent Manaudou won the 50m freestyle men’s swimming. But whereas many athletes would be thrilled with that result, Manaudou was bitterly disappointed having expected, like the French public, to renew his exploit at the London Olympics in 2012 when he became Olympic Champion. He lost his title by a miserable one-hundredth of a second, beaten by the American Anthony Ervin who swam in 21″40 touching the end board a fingertip in front of Manaudou who covered the distance in 21″41.  In the semi-finals he had swum in 21″32. “I felt good in the 4×100, in the series and in the semis too,” he explained, adding that he’d swum better in the semi-final than the final. “The opposite of four years ago.”

Florent Manaudou pensif pendant la cérémonie des remises de médailles 50m nage libre

Florent Manaudou looks thoughtful during the medal ceremony for the 50m freestyle swimming


Tcheuméo lors des quarts de finales suite à sa blessure à la lèvre

Tcheuméo during the quarter finals following her lip injury

Private Audrey Tcheuméo won the half heavyweight judo silver medal beating American  Kayla Harrison despite a lip injury she sustained during her quarter final against British competitor Natalie Powell, which was bleeding significantly enough to warrant the match being interrupted so she could receive medial attention. Less than two minutes later the 2011 World Champion returned to the tatami to finish her match, the bottom half of her face heavily bandaged.

Tcheuméo avec sa médaille d'argent (crédit photo: AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA)

Tcheuméo with her silver medal (photo: AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA)


Volunteer deputy gendarme Jean Quiquampoix will be returning from his first Olympiads as vice Olympic champion in the rapid fire 25m pistol shooting event.

This medal is beautiful but nevertheless a mini deception because I wanted to win,” he said, adding that he’d had “a lot of pressure to start with and then it fell. But at the end one’s pulse accelerates and it’s really hard to shoot accurately so I’m pleased that I shot well.” The 20-year old gendarme is now aiming for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Quiquampoix avec sa médaille d'argent

Quiquampoix with his silver medal


Aircraftman Enzo Lefort won the silver medal in the men’s team foil with civilian team mates

Lefort pendant les JO de Rio

Lefort during the Rio Olympics

Jérémy Cadot, Erwann Le Péchoux and Jean-Paul Tony Helissey. They were beaten 45-41 by the Russians despite having led by nine points at the midway mark (25-16). But the Russians took advantage of Cadot’s difficulties and then  Helissey – who had not taken part in the individual competition – to surge ahead (40-38) and stay there.

ESCRIME : JO 2016 RIO - 12/08/2016

Jérémy Cadot,  Erwann Le Péchoux, Enzo Lefort, and Jean-Paul Tony Helissey with their team foil silver medals


The only “military” bronze medal to date has been won by Privates  Michael d’Almeida and François Pervis in the cycling team sprint with team mate Grégory Baugé. D’Almeida is another one who, unfortunately, will be coming home disappointed as he’d been vice Olympic Champion at the London Olympics.

d'Almeida et BAugé avec leurs médailles de bronze

François Pervis, Michael d’Almeida and Grégory Baugé with their bronze medals