Today we look at Germany & France
Current Olympic champion Lena Schoneborn will try to be the first to double Olympic champion in the women’s field.
After a pretty strong start of the season by winning the World Cup #1 in Charlotte, USA, Schoneborn had a slight drop in her performance (for her own standards) which made her lose the lead in world ranking to Lithuanian Laura Asadauskaite. Schoneborn’s last appearance, at Kremlin Cup held in Moscow (Russia), however, showed she is back to her winning days and claiming the ranking lead would be a natural consequence of a historic Olympic Games for her and her country.
The German team will count on top10 ranked Annika Schleu competing with Schoneborn in the women’s field and among the men will be veteran Steffan Gebhardt in his third Olympic Games competing with Steffan Kollner, the latter encouraged by his fourth place at this year’s World Championships in Rome.
Amelie Caze, winner of 3 World Championships (2007, 2008 and 2010), will be looking for the title she is missing in her biography: the Olympic gold medal.
The French is managing to remain at the top for many years already and finished in 4th position at this year’s World Championships in Rome, Italy, in thrilling last meters when she lacked stamina and dropped places to finish just outside of the podium, touching spectators with her huge effort.
If she missed the chance of collecting her fourth world title this year, she can still put the disappointment behind her and peak at the Games, winning the first medal for her country in individual competition (the country earned two bronze medals in team’s competitions in the last 100 years).
Caze will have to rely on her good fencing and swimming to build a good lead through competition, but the key to victory might be exactly the running in the combined event. Her teammate Eloudie Clouvel won her first World Cup title earlier this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which definitely promoted her from a good prospect into reality.
Quite new to the sport, as she came from the swimming, her fast improvement in the other disciplines is impressive and a good ride in London is the key to make a memorable Olympic Games for her country, as they have two medal contenders in the women’s competition.
Youngster Christopher Patte will be the sole representantive in the men’s field and despite the young age is quite experienced in the seniors circuit, having won medals in World Cup events in 2009 and this year, showing he’s building good form for the Games and can be a dangerous underdog.