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Sporting Events

By Louise Catier

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games - 8th to 24th August

Let's set all the polemics raised by this Chinese edition of the Olympic Games aside and focus on the long awaited sporting events. Who are the French athletes to support this summer? Which events will France shine in? 


Laure Manaudou
There are high hopes for the French swim team, thus far been deemed most likely to take first place in events. All eyes will be on Laure Manaudou, who has performed particularly well this year after a change in manager, and Alain Bernard, the world record-holder at the European Championships in Eindhoven last March.


Athletics remains the focal points of the Olympics and is an event sector favoured by the French. We can count many champions in the French team: Christine Arron, who won a bronze medal in Athens in the 4x100m relay; Ladji Doucoure, who won two gold medals in the latest World Championships in Helsinki in 2005; and Eunice Barber originally from Sierra Leone (heptathlon and long jump) as well as Romain Mesnil, a brilliant pole volter.
Beijing's athletics events take place from 15th to 24th August and the French are expected to enter a team  of 47 French athletes (24 for the men, 23 for the women).


Tony Estanguet
Tony Estanguet
The French are also looking forward to seeing if Tony Estanguet, the slalom canoer, will take the gold metal for a thrid time, as he did in Athens in 2004 and in Sydney in 2000.


Julien Absalon, the cross country rider with twelve world cup wins to his name, is also a favourite to win. 


Laura Flessel
Laura Flessel
The brilliant Laura Flessel, currently number one on the all-time list of French female medal winners with 18 medals including 7 golds, is competing yet again and has lost none of her determination.
In the other disciplines, you'll be able to see the performances of Nicolas Touzaint in horse riding, Teddy Riner in Judo, Franck Dumoulin in shooting and Adrien Hardy and Jean-Baptiste Macquet in rowing.


The eighteen gymnastic events will take place from 9th to 24th August


And finally the football games will take place from 6th to 24th August.

Basket Ball

Unfortunately, there will also be French teams you won't be able to see at those Olympics, namely Basketball, as the male team failed to qualify for it while the female team has decided to boycott the games.


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
All eyes will be on Tsonga the Ali of Tennis. Will he bring back gold as he nearly did in Australia?

To see the full schedule of these 2008 Olympic Games, click here.

For more information about the games in French, visit: changed their views about the North of France. The Pas-de-Calais is very ‘in’ this summer. So, as it is also very close to London by Eurostar, enjoy a break one or two hours away from home and discover the beautiful city of Lille and its Flea market in September or go out and explore the delightful surrounding area. For more information, visit:


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