France’s men’s fencing team wins gold with Jean-Michel Lucenay

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Libération reports that this weekend in Rio ended in triumph for French fencing with a gold medal in the men’s team epee final, beating Italy (45-31). Grumier Gauthier, Jean-Michel Lucenay [from Martinique; right, above, and left, in photo below], Yannick Borel and Daniel Jerent, trained with Hugues Obry since their 2012 London Olympics loss.

In Beijing in 2008, Martinican fencer Jean-Michel Lucenay had made headlines for crying when judges prevented him from playing and sharing the title with his fellow team members; as Libération’s Grégory Schneider writes, “his tears marked a generation of fencers.” On Sunday, Lucenay (at 38 years old) was back in the finals where he substituted top-ranked Gauthier Grumier, who won individual bronze on Tuesday.

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After their success, the fencers commented on their win. Here is what Jean-Michel Lucenay had to say [see link below for comments by Grumier Gauthier, Yannick Borel, Daniel Jerent, and trainer Hugues Obry]:

Jean-Michel Lucenay (age 38): “It feels good. I’m from the north of Martinique and when I was a child, my father had to drive an hour each way to take me to train in Fort-de-France; I also think of my mother, who asked me why I had not won; or that disabled woman from Nîmes, who sends me daily messages to encourage me, I don’t know why: this is what I was think about. My career is a tribute to perseverance. This medal represents this perseverance, the friendship of those who helped me, and, of course, our performance. Obry convinced me to continue after the London Games in 2012. I thank him. Without him, I would have never thought it could end with an Olympic title.”

[Photos of French fencers by Kirill Kudryavtsev, AFP]

For the original source (in French), see http://www.liberation.fr/sports/2016/08/15/coups-d-epees-dans-l-or-pour-la-france_1472470

Also see http://www.leparisien.fr/aulnay-sous-bois-93600/aulnay-jean-michel-lucenay-un-escrimeur-en-or-a-rio-15-08-2016-6042907.php

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