Lemaitre runs 10.15 in his final race of 2012 | 29.10.2012
|French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre concluded his
season clocking 10.15 in tough weather conditions
at the National U23 Championships in Dijon
He turns 23 next June and will therefore no longer qualify for this age group.
Despite the favourable wind of +3.5m/s, the cold more than cancelled out any benefit Lemaitre may have received: "The wind made up for the cold," was coach Pierre Carraz's take on proceedings.
The double European 100m champion was the centre of interest at the Collette Besson stadium but even his presence was not enough to secure victory for his club, Aix Les Bains, which finished third overall in this inter-club competition behind the winners, L'Entente Franconville Cesame Val d'Oise. The Aix women's section, however, gained a measure of revenge by carrying off the women's title.
"I felt good and technically everything was in place," said Lemaitre. "But you have to put the time in context. In this cold it was hard to warm up properly."
Lemaitre has a soft spot for this age-group despite his medals and times which place him in the international elite bracket. He ran in the same event last year, recording a time of 10.12 into a headwind of 1.2m/s. "I do it for my mates and for the club," explained Lemaitre.
Last year, Lemaitre swooped to a personal best 9.92 at the French National Championships, before picking up 200m bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in a sparkling 19.80.
This year in comparison, his times have been 10.04 and 19.91 though he did clock 9.94 with a following wind above the limit at the French championships in June (+2.6m/s).
Lemaitre's 2012 times and above all his performance at the Olympics have been something of a disappointment.
After so much was expected at the London Games, he could finish no higher than sixth in the 200m after deciding not to contest the 100m.
Some weeks ago Lemaitre summed up his 2012 campaign: "I am a little disappointed with my season because I did not get a medal at the Games and that was my aim. The positives were the French title and European title. But taken all in all there are more disappointments than positives. I was too focused on the Games."
Lemaitre's participation at the Helsinki 2012 European Athletics Championships produced a gold medal in the 100m, but only just as fellow countryman, Jimmy Vicaut, pressed him all the way to the line. But there was disappointment in the relay as the defending champions, with Lemaitre on the second leg, could manage no better than bronze.
The young Frenchman had wanted to go to Australia this autumn to improve his English and he may well have raced more there before the year was out. But that plan was shelved and he now plans to make the trip down-under next year.