Fabien Lamirault, a para table tennis player supported by the Caisse d'Epargne Côte d'Azur, retains his gold medal in men’s singles class 2 after his triumph in Rio in 2016: a tremendous achievement!
At the summit
The hardest thing about high-level sport is not reaching the summit but staying there! That's why winning the finals of the table tennis men’s singles (class 2) in Tokyo against the very same Polish opponent as in Brazil five years ago is a fantastic achievement. Very few athletes manage to hold on to their titles from one competition to the next. Fabien Lamirault man aged to do so after a hard-fought match winning 11-9 in a thrilling decisive set. At 41 years of age, he needed immense composure and lucidity to achieve this victory that highlights the outstanding nature of his sporting career.
Going for team gold....
Fabien Lamirault first discovered table tennis in the rehabilitation center where he was staying after a car accident that left him a paraplegic at the age of 17. Fellow residents at the center invited him to play with them. Fabien Lamirault was immediately hooked on this discipline, so much so that he began international competitions in 2003. It was a little too early to qualify for Beijing in 2008 but he would make up for this late start. In the 2012 London Paralympics, Fabien won the team silver medal and the individual bronze. But it was four years later, in Rio, that he gave full expression to his talent. In Brazil, he won the gold medal in both the team and individual events.
Another gold medal was his goal in Tokyo. And tomorrow, he’ll try to achieve the same success with his fellow members of the French team in the team event. If he can maintain this momentum until Paris in 2024 and pull off the feat of winning three gold medals in the individual event, this father of three supported by the Caisse d’Epargne Côte d’Azur will definitely figure in the history books of his sport.
Photo credit: G. Mirand