After the postponement of the Tokyo Games, Release begins to follow the hammer thrower Quentin Bigot, vice-world champion, in his pre-Olympic preparation.
Track clubs that benefit from a hall know how important this is. The preparation of the athletes and the courses for the youngest are not dependent on the weather. But javelin, discus and hammer throwers cannot practice their art indoors. Too dangerous for the other athletes present and the walls of the structure. This is to say if the Ring of Metz, sports center devoted solely to athletics, is an exception. Since 2018, Quentin Bigot and the other launchers of Pierre-Jean Vazel’s group can train in the warmth, when the weather is not to put an athlete outside.
Curtain: this is the hammer theater
Well-dressed, flocked by his new sponsor, smiling and relaxed, Quentin Bigot arrives at the meeting perfectly on time. A school group is trying their hand at high jump and running. Thereafter, it will be the moment of the young shoots of Athletics Metz Métropole, who, with their fluorescent orange T-shirts and their cries of joy will give life to the Ring. A huge green net, folded and coiled in a rope hangs from the ceiling above the throwing platform. “It takes around 150 turns of the crank to lower this curtain, which weighs around 200 kg. It goes without saying that the turns of the crank are heavier when the curtain is raised at the end of the session ”, laughs Quentin Bigot. Once lowered, we unfold it all around the throwing area this curtain made with a synthetic rope and here is a cage is ready to welcome the throwers whose hammers squirt from their hands at about 100 km / h before s’ crush in the net.
Previous articles in the let’s JO series # 1 Quentin Bigot, his hammer, his past, his coach, his medal; # 2 The loneliness of the hammer thrower; # 3 By train to work; # 4 “We don’t know when we can get back to the stadium, normalcy”; # 5 The well-confined hammer; # 6 the revived hammer
The athletes return like actors on stage, pushing aside the two sides of the curtain. In France, there is only one structure of this type: “It was inaugurated in 2018, it is fully funded by the city of Metz”, says Bigot, who was the inspiration for the project: “There are, I believe, for 13,000 euros in all. This is a reasonable expense given that it is also used by the athletes in our group and by the youth club ”, explains Bigot who adds with a smirk: “I had reported to the town hall that the fact of not being able to use the Ring was discriminatory vis-à-vis the throwers: the politicians don’t really like it when you touch that!”
“Don’t get gentrified”
“Having an indoor cage is good and bad”, explains Quentin Bigot just before the 150 turns of the crank: “This allows us to work on technique in superb conditions: in shorts and a T-shirt, warm. On the other hand, it should be limited to one or two sessions per week no more, when the weather is really ugly outside. Despite everything, we must have the measure of each throw on our throwing sessions. And besides, with Pierre-Jean we built our statistics because he always notes the distance of each throw, of each session. This is only possible outdoors, says the Metz pitcher, who points to another drawback to this cage. You shouldn’t be gentrified either. The hammer is not throwing to strike as hard as possible against a net. It also means training in winter with icy fingers, wet feet, rain, etc. ”
Luca Endrizzi Special Envoy to Metz