From the height of his 1.92 m, Lucas Mazur is in the race to win two gold medals in para badminton at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. The French athlete could mark the history of his discipline when he already beats, at 23, precocity records.
Lucas Mazur has a rendezvous with History in Tokyo. The French athlete won his ticket on Saturday September 4 for the para badminton final in men’s singles and mixed doubles with Faustine Noël. He could become, in case of victory, the first French to win the ultimate reward in his discipline, while the latter is for the first time on the program of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
“MZ”, one of his nicknames, will undoubtedly be keen to add a glorious new line to his already rich track record despite his young age. At 23, Lucas Mazur has been the world number one for several years in his category of SL4 – players only with a disability of a lower limb.
“When I was 3 years old, I had a stroke and I had a bit of a limp and a deformed right ankle. I was very lucky, I have always considered myself “valid” ”, explained the parabadist in the program Champions of exception in 2019 .
From an early age, however, it was not badminton that immediately aroused the curiosity of this native Tourangeau, but rather Téfécé (football) and Stade Toulouse (rugby), with the Swedish striker as a model. Johan Elmander (2006-2008) “who (l) ‘made people dream a lot”.
Lucas’ attraction to badminton began in the late 2000s during his college years, around 11-12 years old. “Badminton immediately appealed to me and I was lucky enough to be welcomed into the Colomiers club (in the suburbs of Toulouse, Editor’s note),” he explains in an interview in 2014 . And it all happened quite quickly afterwards: he became European champion in men’s singles (2014) then vice-world champion (2015) before being elected international disabled sports player of the year (2016).
“To perform for another ten or fifteen years”
After narrowly missing the boat in 2015, “MZ” became world champion at 20, in 2017. “This has been the strongest moment (of his career, Editor’s note) for the moment. It was this title that turned my life upside down, it was a very emotional moment, an important achievement and a title that would remain, ”he explained last June in an interview for the French Badminton Federation .
Lucas has consolidated his status as number 1 in the discipline by retaining his title of world champion in 2019. A list of achievements to which are added titles of European champion in singles and mixed doubles (in 2016 and 2018) . He arrived in Tokyo in a favorite costume for the victory in para badminton, and it is only one game away from taking the first step. “His goal is clear, it is to win the gold medal at the Paralympic Games,” said Thibault Pillet in 2019, coach of the France Badminton pole at Insep.
“If he is Paralympic champion, (we hope) that it does not stop and that then we go at least to Paris”, adds his coach, Sandrine Bernard. That’s good: Lucas Mazur, from his height of 1.92 m, has a giant appetite. “I try to continue over time, what matters to me now is to be efficient for another ten or fifteen years”, he admitted before Tokyo. Whatever his results in his finals in Japan, there is no doubt that his name will be heard again for the Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024.