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“I didn’t listen to the medicine and just kept moving forward”

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She is one of the most successful French athletes in history. Thu Kamkasomphou, who won a new world title a few weeks ago, has returned to Ti Sport for the highlight of her career. Exclusive interview.

Thursday, tYou were born in Laos, before arriving in France at the age of 10. How did your integration process go?

Laos changed its political system and my parents decided to come to France for a better future. I was young, but the first difficulty was understanding the language because I didn’t speak a single word of French. In terms of climate, especially in winter, it was also complicated when you are used to Laos temperatures. Now I am so happy to be where I am and to have accomplished everything I set out to do.

“It was a very difficult moment when I was told I could never play sports again and even work standing up.”

Thu Kamxomfo

Why Did you choose table tennis ?

I was playing soccer at the time, but my father asked me if I was interested in table tennis. And since I love all sports, I started this major. Gradually, I switched more to table tennis, where I had the opportunity to practice five times a week. But in spite of everything, I followed football for a year, playing all the time on the field.

When you were 17 years old, you were diagnosed with polyarteritis nodosa. How did you manage to move forward?

At the time, I was at the Center de France in Caen when I was diagnosed with this disease. We don’t know where it came from, so the specialists told me it was due to a virus. So I had to take a year off the sport when I was 8th among juniors and 38th among seniors. It was a very difficult moment when I was told that I would never be able to play sports again and even work standing up.

When you’re 17, you train almost twice a day and my goal was the France team. I dreamed of being the world champion and the Olympic champion. And since joining Parasports, I have a track record that exceeds all my expectations. I didn’t listen to the medicine and just kept moving forward.

” againstThis gold medal (Beijing 2008) was also a form of reward for all those who have accompanied me since the beginning. »

Thu Kamxomfo

Year after year she became a French table tennis icon. What is the best memory of your career?

I have so many wonderful memories. If I had to pick one, I would say my gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. In China, table tennis is a national sport and I had the opportunity to play in a room of experts. This gold medal was also a form of reward for everyone who accompanied me from the beginning.

Can you tell us a few words about the World Championships? What happened a few weeks ago?

In terms of organization, it was the best para-sports competition I have participated in since my debut. We really had the impression that we were getting close to healthy people. The fact that I won the world championship again was something special for me.

In particular, she hit a near-perfect course for winning gold in singles…

In my opinion, I played a very good match during the competition, which allowed me to move forward. Of the four meetings, I lost only one set which is really not much.

“If I ever have to leave the competition, it’s because I’m not going to level up.”

Thu Kamxomfo

I also won the bronze medal in the women’s doubles…

With Morgen Caillaud we are a very young pair and this was our first official competition. We played against pairs that used to play together, and we, on the contrary, did not yet have all the mechanics on our side. So we will strive together to win a medal better than the bronze we got at the World Championships.

Thu, you I am 54 years old, what motivates you to continue?

When he asks me this question, I often answer with a metaphor. When you love to eat a dish, you only think of one thing, to taste it again. It’s the same with table tennis and I’m never satisfied. If one day I have to leave the competition, it is because I no longer have the level. For me, you never tire of winning. However, logs aren’t necessarily something I’m aiming for. I stay focused on my performance first and foremost.

At the moment, I don’t think about it yet. Although I won the World Championships, I am not automatically eligible for the Paralympic Games in Paris. This requires winning the European Championship in 2023.

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