“I present to you the pack that will pull our teeth out of all the competitions,” smiles Jean-Marc Bartoli. Around the sports director of Racing Multi Athlon (RMA), there are twelve top athletes (they should have been twenty but five are absent), most of them arrived in recent months at the sports club of the capital. Almost all are in their twenties, with the exception of the flagship RMA rookie at the start of the year: Mahiedine Mekhissi, three-time Olympic medalist over 3,000 meters steeplechase and five-time European champion.
Olympic goal … and post-career
Without a club since the Adidas Runner Paris stop, the Reims runner wanted to stay in a Parisian structure. “My agent immediately offered me the RMA and I felt that we had the same ambitions to grow the club and make it one of the best in middle distance,” says Mahiedine Mekhissi.
Despite the uncertainty that persists on their outfit this summer, the middle-crosser has the Olympic Games in Tokyo in his sights but also those in Paris in 2024. “I’m putting the package on the next Olympics but my only regret is not not to have participated in a big international competition in France ”, concedes the one who had just returned from a serious injury to the Achilles tendon at the start of the health crisis a year ago.
Almost 36 years old, Mahiedine Mekhissi is also thinking of his post-career by choosing Racing Multi Athlon. “I would like to develop a professional section with Elite riders but also to seek out some internationally to make the club shine. This type of initiative is somewhat lacking in France today, ”he explains.
A guaranteed succession
“This is the best record of the French middle distance, he will be able to bring his experience to the youngest and us too! », Evoke Charik Adberrazak and Félix Bour, showing the fifty or so kids from the club who came to attend the presentation. Having arrived in October and January respectively, the two long-distance runners of the France team speak of the RMA as a “big family”. Rénelle Lamotte, European 800 vice-champion in 2018, will join her soon.
This vision is shared by Emmanuel Roudolff Levisse, son of Pierre himself a former Racingman at the top of the bill in the 80s, 25-year-old marathoner, and the first high-level runner to join the club three years ago: ” Jean-Marc Bartoli’s goal is to build a big cross country team to win all the medals, especially at the French Cross Country Championships scheduled for March and postponed until next fall ”.
“Detection and training”: this is how the sports director sums up the philosophy of the club created in 2011 and originally specialized in pentathlon. “We don’t have that much money, so I don’t have any mercenaries. Some could touch more elsewhere but they are seduced by the long-term support and the absence of performance clause in the contracts ”, insists Jean-Marc Bartoli.
Bartoli, one of the founders of RMA, does not hide his ambitions for the future: to send more and more young people to INSEP and to Elite and to multiply the podiums. “We have four qualified for the next Olympics, two in pentathlon and we believe a lot in this chance of a medal too,” he recalls, pointing to Mahiedine Mekhessi.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr