May 26, 2022

climber Mickael Mawem fails in his quest for gold

When he presented himself against the wall in the final of the climbing at the Olympic Games (Olympics) in Tokyo, Thursday, August 5, Mickael, the youngest of the Mawem brothers, wanted to adorn himself with the most beautiful metal to heal the wounds of his brother. « Micky will bring back the gold medal, it will allow me to forget more quickly ”, Bassa Mawem slipped Tuesday the evening of his abandonment.

Victim of a total rupture of the lower tendon of the left biceps during qualifying, the French climber did not start the first Olympic climbing final. To enter the history of their sport, there were only seven of them attempting the ascent of Olympus on Thursday.

Leader at the end of the first day, Mickael Mawem hoped to repeat his feat in the final. He passed very close. First tie after the first two events (speed and bouldering), the Frenchman cracked in the last test, the so-called “difficulty”, the same one that had made him suffer in qualifying. Fifth in the final, the French climber leaves Tokyo without a medal.

Read also Tokyo 2021 Olympics: Mickael Mawem in the final to climb Olympus

Second after speed

The Tokyo evening had started well for Mickael Mawem. As in qualifying, he snatched third place in the speed test. In the specific format of the final where the climbers competed one on one, he first battled to get rid of the American Nathaniel Coleman: after making a small mistake at the start of the run, he took the best on the American for a tiny tenth. Enough to reach the quarter-finals of this vertical sprint. Opposed to the Japanese Tomoa Narasaki – second in the event on Tuesday – in the second duel, the Nîmois seemed stressed by the issue. A slip from the third take took away all his chances.

The last run looked like a final before the hour. Facing Czech legend Adam Ondra, Mickael Mawem had to win the small speed final to stay in the race for the podium. More at ease when it comes to reaching cliff tops than sprinting on an artificial track, the Czech, 18e of the discipline on Tuesday, achieved the best performance of his career at a very opportune time. On Thursday, he fell below the 7-second mark for the first time in his career. But it was the Frenchman who won the duel and therefore, the third place in speed.

Last to the difficulty

Winner of the block on Tuesday, Mickael Mawem this time had to be content with second place, beaten by another specialist in the discipline: the American Nathaniel Coleman, decidedly very comfortable this Thursday. The 24-year-old climber is the only one to have managed two walls (out of three). As in qualifying, the climbing legends did not quite manage to adapt to the Olympic combined. Like Adam Ondra, relegated to the 6e bouldering and already out of the race before his favorite event, the difficulty.

Virtually medalist with a small point ahead of Spaniard Alberto Gines Lopez, 2019 European vice-champion of difficulty, last test of the day, Frenchman Mickael Mawem knew that the danger would come from behind. And he was right. Fourth after two events, the 18-year-old Iberian did better than the three climbers who preceded him in the provisional general classification, including the Frenchman.

In the Japanese night, Mickael Mawem, him, went to the end of himself. In the Aomi Urban Sports Park, humidity was around 70%. Halfway through, the Frenchman’s hands slipped. His mixed performance – last of the event – sealed his last hopes of victory: Mickael Mawem will finish fifth in the final standings.

More than four hours after the start of the final, the Spaniard Alberto Gines Lopez (1is in speed, 7e in the OR and 4e of difficulty) became the first Olympic champion in climbing history, ahead of the American Nathaniel Coleman and the Austrian Jakob Schubert. Mickael and Bassa Mawem have, for their part, already made an appointment for Paris 2024. With a format that will then be different – from bouldering and a combined difficulty-speed -, the two brothers will have a second chance to climb the Olympic podium together. .

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