Tokyo Olympics: “It was unlivable, I had the impression of going crazy” confides the saber player Boladé Apithy, companion of Manon Brunet

The day, obviously, was special for him too. Returned from Japan on Sunday, the day after his elimination in the first round of the men’s saber competition, Boladé Apithy, 35, followed Manon Brunet’s journey to bronze in front of his television screen. A great first for the companion of the Orléanaise who admits to having done the roller coaster of emotions. But it was such an adrenaline rush that Boladé decided to continue living on Japanese time (Editor’s note: 7 hours more than in France) in order to be in tune with his partner and his friends who remained in Japan. to compete in the team events. “And given what they release, I can already tell you that they are going to be a hit,” he promises.

Before leaving for Japan, you told us that even if your couple brought back only one medal, you would prefer it to be for Manon …

BOLADÉ APITHY. Well we can say my wish has been granted! Finally, to be honest, I would have preferred there to be 2, one for her and one for me, or even 3, with her team competition. But, at the moment, there is only one and I am happy that it is for her. Me, I started the first day. It was not easy to get the ball rolling. She was there, she saw me… I told her not to be like me, not to be overwhelmed by the issue and that everything would be fine. If it could have helped him, great.

How did you experience this particular day?

I got back from Tokyo yesterday at 4-5pm. I started machines, I went to bed and I set the alarm clock at 3 am to follow Cécilia (Berder) and Charlotte (Lembach). For Manon, it was very special, I’m not used to following her behind a screen. Either we are together, or we are each in our competition. But it had never happened to me to be alone, like that, not being able to do anything. I understand my family and my friends. It was unlivable as a situation, I had the impression of going crazy.

How do you experience this kind of moment behind the screen?

It is bad, very bad! And yet, she assured. But it’s very weird. When we are in the room, we feel things, we feel the atmosphere, body language allows to see if one has gained the upper hand over the other. On TV, we don’t see that. And although the score was wide, I was afraid it would end badly. I took a big dose of stress until the last touch. There, it was the relief: there it is, it is done, we will not take it away.

How did you cheer him up after his half-lost?

She was fine, but in the half, she rocked. Today no one could stop her, no one could beat her. She does not lose her half not because the other is stronger, but because she does not make the right match. She was afraid that Rio would happen again (Editor’s note: she had been eliminated at this stage). I tried to play down and remind him that it was a machine, that it was the strongest. Whether she won or not, she had to come out being proud of herself, not like in the half where she was disappointed with herself.

Does his victory lessen your disappointment?

Yes. It doesn’t erase my disappointment, but it allows me to move directly on to something else. I tried to do what I could, I was disappointed. But when you see the person you love making one of their dreams come true, you forget your own fate.

Romain Cannone’s gold in the sword and Manon’s bronze in the saber can it reflect on the Blues in the team competition?

I’m going to tell you a secret, it’s been a long time since I had felt such freshness within the team. They are all united, all united, whatever the weapon, whatever the sex. There is no jealousy. When Romain won everyone was happy for him. This atmosphere is conducive to a harvest of medals. Victories boost! In teams, it will hurt! I don’t want to put pressure on them, but I can see them bringing home four more medals. They are strong, serene, I can feel them well. We left to cast a wide net. If I were an opposing team, I would want to meet everyone except France.

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