The sabre fencer Manon Brunet, supported by CASDEN Banque Populaire, won a superb bronze medal in Tokyo: a first in the history of the French women’s sabre event!
Overcoming disappointment in Rio
The French épée team had previously revived its tradition of winning Olympic gold the day before with the magnificent (albeit somewhat unexpected!) victory won by Romain Cannone. The other members of the French team defied the strict health restrictions imposed on these Games to toss their teammate in the air in keeping with fencing traditions. The only remaining challenge was to put an end to the dearth of results in the women’s sabre event at the Olympics… a mission accomplished by Manon Brunet! Even if her dreams of gold were dashed after yielding in the semifinals to the 2018 world champion – the Russian Sofia Pozdniakova (15-10) – Manon Brunet managed to stay sufficiently focused to claim the 3rd place on the podium. We can fully appreciate the extent to which she had to tap her inner resources to claim this bronze medal! And she did so in a masterly fashion by beating the Hungarian Anna Marton 15-6.
First French female sabre player in history to win a medal
This victory consecrates the first French medalist in the history of the women’s Olympic sabre event and represented a particularly fine day of fencing for the French athlete. The competition began easily against the Indian fencer C. A. Bhavani Devi (15-7) before she was drawn against the tenacious Japanese Misaki Emura, resulting in a tough match that Manon carried 15-12. Then, the fencer from Orléans supported by CASDEN Banque Populaire, via the Performance Pact, won her quarter-final match against the Russian Olga Nikitina 15-5 before, however, succumbing in the semi-final...
But this third place is worth more than a bronze medal for Manon! She had to wait five years to overcome the frustration she felt at Rio followed by the months of waiting during the pandemic. She has already explained how difficult it was for her to do physical sessions in her small apartment and how her coaches looked for solutions to try to make the very most of this bad situation. This work paid off and Jean-François Daurelle, known as “Daudau,” (who was a team bronze medalist himself in 1992) was able to support his women fencers to perfection, and Manon Brunet in particular, who fell into his arms after securing her final touch. Quite a symbol!
But it's not yet over for Manon who will try to win another medal in the French team event. Rendezvous on July 31!
Copyright photos : KMSP