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31 Jul 2018, General

Doha, 31 July 2018. As part of their preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the French Weightlifting National Team decided to have a training camp at Aspire from July 30 to August 16. For coach Yann Morisseau, Aspire provides the perfect environment for the French team, that was also taken on a tour through the Academy on Tuesday morning.

“It’s important for us that our young team has the opportunity to train at the best facilities. What we have here at Aspire is the perfect set-up for our athletes and furthermore, Aspire Academy is very similar to the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance “INSEP”, that has similar objectives and also combines sports and studying,” says Morisseau, who tells that there are about 30.000 people in France, who practice weightlifting and about 3.000 of them are competing from youth to senior level.

One of the most successful weightlifter at this training camp is Gaëlle Nayo-Ketchanke. She holds six French records and won silver medals in the 2015, 2016 and 2018 European Championships in the Women’s 75gk event.  “I want to make the most of my time at Aspire and give my best in every training. This is the beginning of our preparations for the Olympic Games in 2020 and with the guidance of the coaches I hope to reach the next level.” The 30-year-old French, who finished eighth at the 2016 Rio Games, has started with the sport when she was still a child. “I started with weightlifting at the age of 7, thanks to my father, who encouraged me and it has become my passion.”

Of course, she was happy when the French Football National Team recently lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy in Russia, although she admits that she is more into athletics than in football. “Because athletics was the sport I did before moving to weightlifting.” Asked if she has any advice for young people who are interested in starting with weightlifting, she says: “It can be a challenging sport. That’s why it’s very important to be determined and never give up. If you keep your focus and always give your best, the chances are good that you make your dreams come true.”

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