Christophe Lemaitre

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Christophe Lemaitre
Christophe Lemaitre Barcelone 2010.jpg
Christophe Lemaitre at the 2010 European Championships
Personal information
Nationality France
Born (1990-06-11) 11 June 1990 (age 23)
Annecy, France
Height 1.90 m
Weight 74 kg
Sport
Sport sprinting
Event(s) 100 metres, 200 metres, 4 × 100 metres relay
Club Athlétique Sport Aixois
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 100 m outdoor: 9.92 s (Albi 2011)
200 m outdoor: 19.80 s (Daegu 2011)

Christophe Lemaitre[1] (French pronunciation: ​[kʁistɔf ləmɛtʁ]; born 11 June 1990 in Annecy, France) is a French sprinter, who specialises in the 100 and 200 metres. He is the current French 100 m outdoor and 200 m outdoor record holder with a time of 9.92 seconds and 19.80 seconds respectively. He was the first man purely of European descent to break the 10-second barrier in an officially timed 100 m event.[2]

At the age of 20, Lemaitre won the 100 m, 200 m and the 4×100 m relay titles at the 2010 European Championships, the first French sprinter ever to achieve that triple. He was the fastest European 100 m and 200 m sprinter in 2010.[3][4] As of August 2013, Lemaitre was one of the three Frenchmen (the other two are Ronald Pognon and Jimmy Vicaut) to have broken the 10-second barrier in the 100 metres outdoor.[5]

Career[edit]

Growing up[edit]

Lemaitre grew up in the town of Culoz, where he practiced handball, rugby and football, before his sprinting prowess was discovered. In 2005 at the age of 15, during national sprinting events, Lemaitre ended up with the fastest 50 metres in the country.[6] A month after his 16th birthday in 2006, and less than a year after joining an athletics club in Aix-les-Bains, Lemaitre ran 100 m in 10.96 seconds. His personal best improved to 10.53 seconds in 2007.

2008–2009[edit]

Lemaitre after winning his medals in Barcelona

In 2008, he ran a new 100 m personal best of 10.26 seconds. At the 2008 World Junior Championships in Athletics, Lemaitre won the 200 m title with a time of 20.83 seconds.[7]

At the 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships, Lemaitre won gold in the 100 m and set a new European junior record with a time of 10.04 seconds.[8] He won the 2009 men's European Athletics Rising Star of the Year Award for his achievements in 2009.[9]

2010[edit]

At the start of the 2010 outdoor season, he opened with a run of 10.09 seconds in Aix-les-Bains before winning in 10.24 into a headwind of −2.2 m/s in Vénissieux. He ran at the French National Interclub Championships in Franconville in May 2010 and recorded a new 100 m personal best of 10.03 seconds, although he said he was disappointed to have missed Ronald Pognon's French record of 9.99 seconds.[10] He aimed once more at the record at the 2010 European Team Championships and, although he again missed his target, he finished as runner-up against Dwain Chambers with a personal best of 10.02 seconds.[11]

100 m final at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.

On 9 July 2010, Lemaitre became the first man purely of European descent to run 100 metres in under 10 seconds, with a time of 9.98 s at the 2010 French National Championships in the city of Valence. By doing so, Lemaitre also broke the 100m French national record of 9.99 s set by Ronald Pognon on 5 July 2005 in Lausanne. (Note: Patrick Johnson, who had set a time of 9.93 seconds in the 100m on 5 May 2003, is only partly of European descent). Afterwards Lemaitre said, "Of course, it was my goal to break it (the 10-second barrier). One has to run under 10 seconds in order to be part of the world's best. I will be recognised as the first white man to do so, but today's achievement is mainly about making history for myself!...It is not about the color (of one's skin), it is about hard work."[12][13][14] One day later (at the same 2010 French National Championships), Lemaitre equalled the 200m French national outdoor record with a time of 20.16 seconds. Gilles Quénéhervé had held the 200m French national outdoor record exclusively for almost 23 years - since 3 September 1987.[15]

At the 2010 European Championships, he won the gold medal in the 100 m with a time of 10.11 s.[16] The next day, after comfortably progressing through the heats and semi-finals of the 200 m, Lemaitre became the double European champion by storming to victory in the 200 m final in a time of 20.37 s, beating Great Britain's Christian Malcolm by 0.01 s (Malcolm clocked his season's best time of 20.38 s in the final).[17] Lemaitre then combined with Jimmy Vicaut, Pierre-Alexis Pessonneaux, and Martial Mbandjock in the 4 x 100 m relay final to finish first ahead of Italy and Germany in a time of 38.11 s.[18] At the IAAF World Challenge's Rieti Meeting in Rieti, Italy on 29 August 2010, Lemaitre competed in the 100 m. In that event, he equalled his personal best in his heat with a time of 9.98 s, and improved on it in the final with a time of 9.97 s (reaction time 0.199 s).[19]

2011[edit]

Lemaitre at the 2011 World championships Athletics in Daegu.

During the 2011 European Indoor Championships in Paris, Christophe Lemaitre was the fastest during the heats of the 60 m event. He also had the fastest time in the semi-finals, but he only finished in third place in the final.[20][21]

On June 7, at the first meeting of the Pro Athlé Tour in Montreuil, he broke his own national record with a time of 9.96 s.[22] On June 18, he went on to again lower his national record, clocking a time of 9.95 s at the 2011 European Team Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.[23] On June 30, he matched his national record with a time of 9.95 s in Lausanne. On July 29, he again lowered the French national record at the French National Championships in Albi, with a time of 9.92 s and a wind-assisted speed of 2.0 m/s. By winning that race in 9.92 s, he became the second fastest sprinter of non-west African descent (after Frankie Fredericks) by surpassing Patrick Johnson's personal best time of 9.93 s.

On 30 July, he appeared to break the 200 metres French national record, but it did not count as the wind speed was 2.3 m/s, which was 0.3 m/s over the limit. At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Lemaitre reached the final of the 100 m event, where he finished fourth.[24] On September 3, he won the bronze medal in the 200 m event, with a time of 19.80 s and a wind speed of 0.8 m/s in the final. In doing so, he pulverized the previous French national record (20.16 s) that he had shared with Gilles Quénéhervé for 14 months by 0.36 second.[25] In that race he became the second-fastest European 200 m sprinter in history after Pietro Mennea. On September 4, Lemaitre teamed up with Jimmy Vicaut, Teddy Tinmar and Yannick Lesourd to run a season best of 38.20 s in the 4 x 100 metres relay final, finishing second behind the world record-breaking Jamaican team and thus taking the silver medal.[26]

2012[edit]

Christophe Lemaitre, after consulting his coach, opted out of competing in the 100 m in the 2012 London Olympics. Lemaitre would thus only participate in the 200 m, in which he was ranked fourth that year, and the 4×100 m relay. His coach, Pierre Carraz, said: "In the results over 100m, Christophe is only ranked 10th among those who have entered. Over 200m, we can hope for a medal."[27] Lemaitre finished sixth in the 200 m final in a time of 20.19 s. After the final, he said, "I started very well. And then I still had this problem at the bend. I did my best, but it was too difficult. I finished sixth. There is not much to say. For me, it was not the final I was hoping for." Despite finishing only sixth, that 200m race unofficially made Lemaitre the fastest white man in the world in the 200 m.[28] In the 4×100 m relay final, Lemaitre's relay team finished fourth in a time of 38.16 s, just four hundredths of a second behind the bronze medallists Trinidad and Tobago.

2013[edit]

In the 100 m final at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Lemaitre finished in seventh place in a time of 10.06. On 12 August, one day after the 100 m final, he withdrew from the 200 m and the 4 × 100 m relay due to an injury near the right knee sustained during the 100 m final.[29] [30]

Recognition[edit]

Christophe Lemaitre was the winner of the 2010 men's European Athlete of the Year Trophy.[31] He was also named the 2010 L'Équipe Champion of Champions (France category) (ahead of Sebastien Loeb and Teddy Riner) by the French sports daily L'Équipe [32] and the 2010 RTL Champion of Champions by the French commercial radio network RTL.[33]

After Lemaitre had first broken the ten seconds barrier in the 100m in 2010, L'Équipe put him on the front page, even though the Tour de France was taking place. During his European Championships treble gold medal winning year of 2010, Lemaitre ran faster than the former world record-holder Asafa Powell and the former double world champion Tyson Gay did at his age.

Lemaitre took second place in the total points received that decided who was to win the 2011 men's European Athlete of the Year Trophy.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Despite his career in athletics, Christophe Lemaitre attends the University of Savoy, where he's obtaining a professional bachelor in industrial electrical engineering and computer science.

Personal bests[edit]

Event Time Wind Venue Date Ref
60 m indoor 6.55 France Aubière 13 February 2010
200 m indoor 20.58 France Metz 28 February 2014
100 m outdoor 9.92 NR +2.0 m/s France Albi 29 July 2011 [35]
200 m outdoor 19.80 NR +0.8 m/s South Korea Daegu 3 September 2011

Key: NR = National record

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lemaitre, enfant du paradis". Le Républicain Lorrain (in French). Retrieved 2010-07-10. "[...] Lemaitre sans accent circonflexe [...]" 
  2. ^ Vazel, Pierre Jean (2010-07-09). "Lemaitre – 9.98sec". IAAF. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  3. ^ Your name: (2010-07-29). "Lemaitre is fastest man in Europe – Emirates24|7". Emirates247.com. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  4. ^ Christophe Lemaitre profile Retrieved 31 January 2011
  5. ^ 9"95 pour Jimmy Vicaut, troisième Tricolore sous les 10" sur 100m Eurosport.com (2013-7-13)
  6. ^ « Un météore venu de la lune », leprogres.fr, mis en ligne le 10 juillet 2010
  7. ^ "2008 World Junior Championships in Athletics −200 Metres Hurdles – M FinaL". IAAF. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  8. ^ "2009 European Athletics Junior Championships −200 Metres Hurdles – M FinaL". European Athletics. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  9. ^ European Athletics Rising Star Lemaitre now looking at new challenges . European Athletics (2009-09-30). Retrieved on 2009-10-02.
  10. ^ Vazel, Pierre-Jean (2010-05-25). World leading 17.63 for Tamgho – 10.03PB for Lemaitre – French Club Champs report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-06-14.
  11. ^ Minshull, Phil (2010-06-20). Chambers flies to 9.99, Russia hold pole position – European Team Champs, Day 1. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-06-21.
  12. ^ "Lemaitre – 9.98sec". IAAF. Retrieved 2010-07-14. 
  13. ^ Boucey, Bertrand (2010-07-09). "Lemaitre first white man to run 100m in under 10 seconds". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  14. ^ "French sprinter breaks 10-second barrier in 100m dash". France 24. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  15. ^ "Lemaitre equals 20.16 national 200m record, Lavillenie vaults world-leading 5.94m as French championships conclude". IAAF. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  16. ^ "Christophe Lemaitre wins 100m at European Championships". London: The Guardian. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  17. ^ "Christian Malcolm edged out for 200m gold by Christophe Lemaitre". London: The Guardian. 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  18. ^ "France's Lemaitre captures third gold". The Japan Times. 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  19. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2010-08-29). Rudisha lowers 800m World record again, 1:41.01; Carter dashes 9.78sec in Rieti – IAAF World Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-08-30.
  20. ^ Round 1 Results
  21. ^ Semifinal Results
  22. ^ "Lemaitre clocks 9.96 for new French 100m record". www.trackalerts.com. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  23. ^ "Lemaitre clocks 9.95 at SPAR European Team Championships, fastest European time since 2004". EAA. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  24. ^ "Blake en or, Lemaitre se rate – AthlĂŠ – ChM (H) – L'EQUIPE.FR". Lequipe.fr. 2011-08-28. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  25. ^ "Mondiaux Daegu – Lemaitre l'a fait !". Fr.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  26. ^ "RM pour la JamaĂŻque, Bleus en argent – AthlĂŠ – ChM – L'EQUIPE.FR". Lequipe.fr. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  27. ^ Sportsmail Reporter European champion Lemaitre skips 100m to focus on 200m at London 2012 Dailymail, 2012-07-26
  28. ^ "Lemaitre : "C'était trop difficile"". Eurosport. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  29. ^ "Le forfait de Christophe Lemaitre officialisé". Le Monde. 12 Aug 2013. 
  30. ^ "Mondiaux d'athlétisme : Christophe Lemaitre forfait pour le reste de la compétition". Sud Ouest. 12 Aug 2013. 
  31. ^ Frenchman Lemaitre voted 2010 European Athlete of the Year Retrieved 31 January 2011
  32. ^ Sprinter Lemaitre named 'French Sportsman of the Year' Retrieved 31 January 2011
  33. ^ "Marion Bartoli élue championne des championnes 2013 par RTL". RTL. 13 Dec 2013. 
  34. ^ "Farah handed 2011 European award". BBC News. 2011-10-05. 
  35. ^ "Lemaitre beats his own French 100m record". www.tipnews.info. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
French Sportperson of the Year
2010
Succeeded by
Nikola Karabatić