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Discussion with athlete Rénelle Lamote

Paris,France Words : Lionel Jagorel , Images : Renélle Lamotte

At nearly 27 years old, Rénelle Lamote is one of the most talented French athletes.
In 2018 she became a European Vice-champion in Berlin, she is an 800 meters expert (her record: 1 min 58 s 01) so the odds are in her favor to win a medal at theTokyo Olympics. Interview with a young woman who is as natural and truthful as her Instagram account.

Hi Rénelle, can you tell us how athletics came into your life?

I started athletics in middle school, the PE teacher introduced me to his athletics club and very quickly he suggested that I should pass entry tests for the Fontainebleau school to study and practice running. That is how I started athletics, at the age of 12 - 13 years old.

Are you a long sprinter or a distance runner? What is the longest distance you have run in a race? Are you ever planning to participate in a marathon?

I would say that I am more of a distance runner who runs short distances or rather a middle-distance runner who runs short. The longest distance I have run is 10 K but it was for fun, I didn’t go very fast. A marathon? Never in my life! Apart from the Medoc Marathon, to enjoy an afternoon with my friends and have drinks while disguised, why not! But I really can’t imagine myself running 42 kilometers without stopping.

For the (mediocre) athletes of the Distance team, their strategy for the 800 metre is to give everything the first round and on the second unplug the brain and hold on. What do you think of this approach? What is your strategy?

I think that starting the first-round full blast and holding on as best you can in the second round is extremely courageous, but it’s the best way to never want to run 800 meters again! My strategy is to run the first round nearly at your full speed and keep some of that energy for the second. This is what I recommend for all athletes at any level, you always have to keep a little something for the end to make you want to run again afterwards, otherwise you will never want to run 800 again!

You often play with the 2 minutes bar, what are your tips for those who want to be under that time limit?

My advice for those who want to do less than 2 minutes. For both girls and boys, I recommend that when you train you don't give 100%, you give 200%. If you go to give 50%, stay home and do something else. Training the 800 is done with everything you’ve got.

Your Instagram account allowed us to discover a hilarious & ironic Rénelle. Is it important not to take yourself too seriously?

I cannot stand people who take themselves seriously, so I definitely don’t want to show this to my followers, and I take that opportunity to network with tons of people. I find it important to be close to the people who support me and who encourage me.

We noticed your training clothes, which are always flawless. Any fashion or beauty tips for our clients? Products you recommend for training?

So for beauty tips, honestly when you don't know what to wear, go for the total black look. The all black look is cool, with black we never make any mistakes, even tights, a bra, a black T-shirt and sweatshirt, it's perfect. 
I really like the Pegasus Turbo, I recommend them for running.

You paraded for Virgil Abloh. Can you tell us about this experience?

I thought I was going to see a fashion show, it was cool since I had never seen one before. But they brought me to the atelier, and they explained to me that I would be walking on the runway, I wasn’t prepared at all for that! On top of all that, I had fittings  with Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid etc, so unreal! It was so stressful, much more stressful than a race actually. It was an incredibly interesting life experience, it was hilarious to find myself walking like a top model at a fashion show, I was asking myself what am I doing here but I am glad to have done it, such an awesome event!

Tokyo should have been your second time at the Olympics, what did you learn in Rio, what were your mistakes that won’t be repeated?

In Rio I failed, and it helped me learn a lot during the following years from these games which  were  clearly traumatic for me. I was able to challenge myself concerning my weight, because I had weight issues, and also how I managed my sports career. What I learned from this experience is that you always have to listen to yourself, you have to be in tune with yourself to succeed. Today I am sure of myself at this level.

Are you going to get us a medal in Japan or are you going to wait until you’re at home in Paris 2024?

I already lost my first Olympic Games so I would like to bring back medals at the next one I participate in for sure! If I have to wait for Paris to be certain to bring back an Olympic medal, I will wait for Paris then because a medal in your home country is priceless!

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