Swimming. European Championships: Charlotte Bonnet, silver medalist, “wanted

Silver medalist in the 100m freestyle at the European Championships on Friday in Rome, Charlotte Bonnet measured the progress made since the Tokyo Olympics last summer, when she wondered about the follow-up to be given to his career. “A year ago, I wanted to quit”she recalled.

After several difficult years in terms of results, you are finally back on the podium. What do you feel ?

I’m happy. There is a little bitterness at not swimming faster, inevitably there are regrets, I miss the gold medal by not much, well 4/10th anyway… It was a risky bet to tell myself that here, I will arrive at my best level after a lot of changes, after a lot of struggles. Emotionally, I haven’t recovered from everything I’ve been through in the past two or three years. It’s not an excuse, it’s just that I can’t be as physically and mentally fresh as I was four years ago. But I’m super happy to get this medal. It’s a relief, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been on a podium.

What is this medal worth?

It is very important because when I go back a year (after the Tokyo Olympics, editor’s note), I wanted to stop so it feels good. The road is long, maybe I won’t be able to do what I want to do (at the Olympics in) Paris. You have to take it step by step, I’m having fun again, it’s already huge. Last year, I didn’t get on the box in Europe, I came out of the Olympics really sad and I was in a pretty deplorable state. You can’t say that I’ve come a long way because there’s always worse, but I had a bumpy ride, so it feels good.

READ ALSO. Charlotte Bonnet: “I want to be reborn”

Will this medal free you for the rest of the competition?

It will free me from a weight. Usually I start with the 200m and it puts so much pressure on me because it’s a race that is close to my heart. There I already have a medal, so it will free me up and make me want to go get a second one. […] I am someone who is quite anxious at the base but today (Friday), I arrived anyway with serenity. Winning would have been the Grail but there was stronger than me (the Dutch Marrit Steenbergen, editor’s note) and that makes me want to go get her.

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