Olympic Games | 19 Jul 2021
Simon GAUZY: For once in my career I had a lot of time to prepare for the biggest event
Silver medalist at the European Championships in Budapest and World Championships quarterfinalist, Simon GAUZY of France, will play at his second Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. In Rio he was 17th in singles and his team of France finished 9th. In the French team this time around in Japan, will also be European Champion Emmanuel LEBESSON, a player who denied Simon gold in Budapest 2016, and Alexandre CASSIN.
After the break caused by the pandemic GAUZY has been on a good run.
"I have competed in the China bubble in October where I lost 4-3 against Mattias FALCK and in Qatar where I reached the semi-final in one of the two tournaments. It's been great for me in Qatar beating three top 30 players and one top 10," said GAUZY.
GAUZY is taking the positives from the enforced break caused by the Pandemic.
"For once in my career I have got a lot of time to prepare for the biggest event. It is hard under current circumstances, but I am happy to have that time."
How the routine changed compare to the previous Olympic cycle?
"It is different clearly. We are not allowing many players in our center in Germany and I'm trying to travel as little as I can. I went just to Paris to make the Olympic committee obligations and to get my second dose of vaccine but otherwise I stayed the most I can in Germany."
How do you see yourself now, five years after the Olympic Games in Rio?
"Many things happened since Rio. I'm five years older, more experienced, calmer. But I had some tough times with my back injury when I was number 8 in the world. I almost had to start from 0 and I'm finally back in the top 20. I also became a father for the first time, which absolutely is the biggest change in my life so far."
What is your goal for the Olympics?
"I am not setting any goals. I know what I'm worth. I know I can beat anybody; I have done it in the past except the two best Chinese. So let's see, at my top shape, where I can go. Chances in the Team's Event are open and it will depend on the draw. It can be tough if we face China before the semi-final. Otherwise, I believe in our chances."
Do you feel the same as you did before Rio?
"I do not feel the same at all. In Rio I was younger, more eager to see other stars from other countries. Now I am seeing myself go higher, or at least perform better, not like I did in Rio. The village is big. As a sport fan, it was tough for me to focus fully. But it will change. I changed, I'm ready to be the best version of myself there and I'll do anything to arrive at the best."
What is your strongest memory related to the Olympics?
"The first time I realised I wanted to be a professional table tennis player was when I watched, with my family, the final in 2004 between WANG Hao and RYU Seung Min so I will go with that memory."
What other sports do you like to watch at the Olympics?
"I am a bit fan of many sports: tennis, basketball, track and field, swimming, handball and many more. But those are maybe my favourites. :
What come first to your mind when you think about the greatest Olympic achievement?
"I am thinking of Usain BOLT, Mark Spieth, Michael PHELPS obviously. But so many more... Olympics are something special."