Mathilde Lamolle and the fear of “never getting there”

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At 25, Mathilde Lamolle, European pistol shooting champion in 2021 and multiple French champion, has already participated in the Olympic Games twice: until the Paris Olympics, the one who was a finalist in the 10m at the Games from Tokyo recounts his journey to AFP.

In this eighth episode, she details the communication difficulties encountered with her new coach, the doubts arising from mixed results and the gaze that is already turning towards Paris-2024.

“I get along very well with Walter Lapeyre, my new coach, but sometimes, to understand each other, we had to make long speeches and after two hours, we weren’t sure that everything was clear to each other. It was a difficulty that remained until the end of the season. The relationship had to be established, he had to understand my needs and vice versa. There was nevertheless a World Cup in July, where we both just left, with him 100% behind me, where it was very interesting in the coaching, a real positive point. Ditto at the Worlds in October, where again the coaching was really good. But we so it still took a season to come up with something relevant and effective.

Sometimes I said to myself, + I will never get out of this +. I felt alone and I said to myself + he will never understand me, we will never get there +. And yet there were sometimes leads that encouraged me. In the end, I’m glad we insisted. It is he who will accompany me to Paris, so it was a necessary path. I agreed not to have the same relationship with him as with Laurent Sasso, who coached me for ten years.”

– “The hard blow” –

“In terms of results, there were victories and podiums in the World Cup, but I lost my title in the European championships where I missed the final by one point. It was two editions in a row that I I was on the podium, so it was a bit of a hard blow. We had to quickly remobilize with the Worlds three weeks later. And there, I set my record in qualifying. For once, I therefore arrive largely in the final and not through the back door by finishing eighth. On the other hand, the final did not go very well. So it’s mixed. If you see my ranking and my score, it’s not terrible. But if you look at the shots, you can see that I was present. I’m not far from the medal and I’m part of the Top 8 in the world on D-Day.

Over the season, there are several competitions where I didn’t make it to the final, but the bottom line is that even when I shoot badly, I’m very close. A few years ago, I could be at the bottom of the rankings. There I am Top 10/15 even when I miss myself. It lacks consistency in the final, but the whole thing has progressed all the same.”

– Quota target –

“For the new season, the main objective is to get a quota for Paris-2024. We can win some at the European Championships at 10m in March, at the Mediterranean Games in June at 25m and at the Worlds in August, over both distances.We are aiming for two quotas over the two disciplines.

This season, we will also start training on the Games stand in Châteauroux. We are lucky to be able to do that and I still haven’t shot there. So we will be in Châteauroux with the French team and in Bordeaux in individual courses with Walter to go more into the finesse. As a team, it’s competition and competition. And I continue to come back to Marseille to train with Jean Quiquampoix (Olympic champion in Tokyo, editor’s note) and Clément Bessaguet who are the reference in France. We are a fairly monotonous sport, so changing the shooting range allows us to change the light and the atmosphere. It breaks the routine.”

Interview by Stanislas TOUCHOT

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