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Paths to Paris: Clement Bessaguet, ISSF Male Athlete of the Year, on French hopes for Olympic success

In 2023 the 32-year-old from Montpellier, who is targeting his home Games this summer, earned a second successive world silver medal in the 25m rapid fire pistol and underlined his consistency by finishing on the podium in four of the six ISSF World Cups

Two world silvers in two years. How are you so consistent?

I worked a lot for that, during this period all was okay for me, I was really strong during training. So it was easier make what I know do during competition.

How do you feel about getting your award?

I was really happy, 2023 was my best season of my life!

What has been your biggest challenge so far in your career?

To be in the top five world ranking before Tokyo 2020 because I had a job, not only shooting. I was an electricity technician. But since the Tokyo Games I finished with my job and became a full-time shooting athlete.

What are your hopes for Paris 2024? Is it a mix of excitement/responsibility?

I really want to win a medal, I really know that I have the level for that. I have to win a medal.

Would you agree that shooting looks like one of the most promising areas for home medals?

I don’t think this. I think judo is the most promising areas for home medals. But we will do our best to win a maximum of medals in shooting.

Who or what was your Olympic inspiration? First memory of Olympics?

I think Usain Bolt! He was the best of the best.

Jean Quiquampoix. Tokyo 2020 25m rapid fire pistol gold medallist for France. Inspiration? Rival? Both?

Jean is a team-mate and friend during training, and a rival like all other good athletes during competition.

You missed the Tokyo 2020 final by one place. Is that good motivation for you now?

All my defeats are good motivation for me. Because I want to be more and more strong…

 

 

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