Alex Portal and Laurent Chardard crowned at the Funchal Worlds

He had warned: in the absence of the Belarusian scarecrow Igor Boki, who dominates the category of the visually impaired, Alex Portal wanted to win a world title in Funchal (Madeira). The 20-year-old, born with ocular albinism, had to persevere, wait until the last day to finally touch gold. In the 200m medley, after two silver medals (100m butterfly and 400m) and one bronze (100m). He had finally outclassed the Ukrainian Garachenko, who had deprived him of gold in the 100 pap and the 400 m.

Better, on Saturday, another Frenchman embellished the overall record of twelve medals with the title accompanied by a European record for Laurent Chardard (S6) in the 50m butterfly. The 26-year-old Reunionese, who lost an arm and a leg in a shark attack while bodyboarding, had already tasted the podium in Funchal (2nd in the 100m).

Milestones set in the run-up to Paris 2024

Even if there is not the same tinsel, we will also salute the four silver medals of Ugo Didier (20 years old) born with club feet and atrophy of the lower limbs (100 m, 400 m, 100 m backstroke and 200m medley) but also silver for Anaëlle Roulet (100m backstroke, S10) and bronze for Solène Sache (100m breaststroke, SB4). And if France is only in 18th place among nations, light years from Italy, which dominates the ranking with 64 medals including 27 gold, it has laid down some milestones in the run-up to the Paralympic Games in Paris. in 2024.

“These two medals will be foundational for this French team which proves and proves to itself that it can win and aim to win”

Sami El Gueddari, sports director of French para-swimming

Sami El Gueddari, the sporting director of the discipline, attests to this: “It’s a turning point for this team. She was often very well placed, well present but she had difficulty in concretizing the good performances achieved on the final touch. Winning gold can be learned, cultivated. These two medals will be founding for this team of France which proves and proves to itself that it can win and aspire to win. It’s encouraging for the future and in progress since we won five medals in Mexico in 2017 and nine in London in 2019. “

“Five swimmers, out of eleven present (Florent Marais, qualified, had to withdraw due to injury) won a medal, it’s a good ratio, notes El Gueddari. But the real satisfaction lies in the level of performance achieved. Alex (Portal)Ugo (Didier)Lawrence (Chardard)solene (Know)Leane (Piece)… Finally, all the swimmers achieved at least their best performance in their specialty. I am thinking in particular of Ugo who is swimming below the world record on Friday in the 100m backstroke (1’0”42), even if the Italian Barlaam also set a new world record (59”72). »

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