Thursday, September 24, 2009

Christine Arron: France's Trésor Doré (Golden Treasure)

Christine Arron is one of France's most loved athletes who many consider to be the world's legal fastest sprinter. She is officially ranked the third fastest (10.73) behind Florence Griffity-Joyner and Marion Jones (10.65) but due to the conviction of Jones and the controversy surrounding the performances of world record-holder, Florence Griffith-Joyner, many considers Arron's performance to be the 'true' world record. In 1998 she competed at the European Athletics Championships held in Budapest, Hungary where she broke the record in the 100m race. As a result of her record-breaking performance she was named the 1998 European Women's Athlete of the Year. To date, her record (10.73) has not been broken. At the 2003 World Championships in Athletics held in Paris, Arron brought absolute delight to her national and international supporters when she recovered from a 3m disadvantage to upset the American favorites in the 4x100 relay. In a superb effort on the last leg of the race she brought her team to the center of the podium to collect gold medals for winning the relay. She was born in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe on September 13, 1973 and migrated to France in 1990 where she began training with Fernand Urtebise. She gave birth to her first child, a son, in 2002. The 36 year old who celebrated her birthday some 11 days ago enjoys reading, playing the piano and art. In 2001 she took a year off from training stating that she was physically exhausted. She was training in the US and described the experience as grueling, burdensome and at times unbearable. She has had a few injuries throughout her career. In 2001 hip injury kept her out of the 2001 World Championships. In 2006 she was forced to withdraw from the European Championships in Sweden because of a tear in her left hip adductor. In 2008 she had to withdraw from the World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain due to a torn hamstring in her right foot. Prior to her hamstring injury, she also suffered from inflamed tendons in her hip. Arron won the bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In August 2005 she won a bronze medal in the 100 meters and in the 200 meters at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics. Before winning gold in 2004, she was ranked in the top 8 at the 2000 Olympic Games, the top 3 at other Olympic Games and top 3 at World Championships. She failed to qualify for the 100m semi finals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She placed first in the first round heat with a time of 11.37 but was disqualified in the second round with a time of 11.36 which gave her a fourth place finish automatically causing her to be eliminated. She has done her country proud. She has made her fans the world over happy. She has given her best to the sport of athletics. She is diligent, persevering, dedicated and convicted. France loves her. Her fans adore her. I tip my hat to her. Christine Arron is without a doubt one of France's trésors dorés. Back in March Les Dessous du Sport published a post vilifying France's love of Arron. When asked who is the favorite sports woman in France, the results were as follows: Arron 32%, Laure Manaudou 26%, Jeannie Longo 24% and Amélie Mauresmo 17%.