Emma Lombardi reveals herself at the European Championships

When the feet joined the sneakers, the scenario seemed crystal clear. Always well placed since the start of the race, Cassandre Beaugrand, on a good day at the sight of her first part of the race, unfolded her endless stride from the first hectometres of the four running loops. At that time, they were already not much to believe in the medal if it were not the German Laura Lindemann and the young Emma Lombardi.

As in Leeds, a few weeks earlier, Beaugrand had set off and the spectators who had come in large numbers to Olympiapark must have already thought that his next destination was the finish line. But on a loop of 2.5 km including 750 m at 5% average, his legs asked to calm the pace from the first descent. The hunting duo took the opportunity to return, as did the Briton Non Stanford, survivor of the usual British armada left to rest after the Commonwealth Games.

Cassandre Beaugrand in a day without

In a few moments, and while a microclimate made of rain and wind invited itself to the party, the balance of power had just changed. Stanford pressed and it was not Beaugrand who answered, but Lombardi with the German on the luggage rack.

The Chambéenne, trained for several seasons by Mickaël Ayassami on the Creps de Boulouris side, swung her arms from left to right in a highly effective choreography to hang on with panache. However, the 2021 U23 world champion discovered at the same time the money-time of an International Championship among the big ones. That didn’t bother her, and her brown mane twitched to bridge the gap to Stanford, finally above the fray.

“She does a very diligent race with maturity in running”

Beaten in the sprint by Lindemann, the Frenchwoman nevertheless won bronze, the same result as Beaugrand (finally 5th and in « a day without » according to her DTN), four years earlier. While Léonie Périault finished at a distance (28th). « I can’t believe it, a European podium in the elite, it’s great, Lombardi blurted. I had a very bad start in swimming. Behind, I had to fight to go up. I knew it was going to be a battle and that we had to manage with the climb. I tried to stay placed as much as possible so as not to suffer from the changes of rhythm and to impose my own. »

Only his fourth race in the Olympic format

Rather daring for a rookie of which it was only the fourth race in the Olympic format (1.5 km of swimming, 40 km of cycling, 10 km of running) of her career. “She does a very diligent race with maturity in running where she knew how to manage her effort, judged Benjamin Maze, the DTN. It corresponds to his physical and psychological qualities. She takes the stages step by step (world champion in the mixed relay and 4th in the WTCS in Yokohama this year). It’s very promising for the future. »“In Yokohama, I saw what I was capable of. And doing it again is great! It gives me confidence », she let go with a smile that never left her. The latter should return tomorrow, since she will probably be in the blue relay for another medal.

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