Coming to athletics “a little by chance”, Ludovic Oucéni (20) has just forced the doors of Olympus by being one of the six tricolor torchbearers selected for the Tokyo Olympics on the 4 × 400. Currently in Tallinn (Estonia), the faithful Pierrefitte is preparing to compete for his first Euro hopes alongside his two dallions, Reale and Saïdy.
“ Chance does things well ”, we often say. Regarding Ludovic Oucéni (on the left in the photo above alongside Fabrisio Saïdy and El-Mir Reale), the saying is particularly true. When he rewinds the film of his life more than twelve years back, the sprinter of the Pierrefitte Multi Athlon Villetaneuse realizes it all the more.
“ I came to athletics quite by accident when I was 8 years old. I had won the cross country schools in the city, suddenly a trainer from Pierrefitte came to see me to suggest that I register. This is how it all started. Before that, I practiced more karate and the gym ”, he informs.
Since this beautiful day of the year of grace 2009, Ludovic Oucéni has never changed club. Loyal among the faithful in Pierrefitte (Seine Saint-Denis), where the athlete club came out of the ground shortly before his arrival, the one who recently acknowledged receipt of his selection for the Tokyo Olympics in the 4 × relay 400 had a reception in his honor two days ago. “ I am the first athlete at the club to be selected for the Games. And at Pierrefitte, everyone has known me since I was little, ”he explains.
Admitting to not yet really realize what is happening to him, Oucéni, from a father from Reunion Island and a mother from Martinique, is nevertheless well aware of the luck he has. “ The Olympics are the biggest competition an athlete can experience. And to live it at only twenty years old is a very great experience. It feels weird. But I tell myself that it is the fruit of all the work done in recent years, ”reacts the athlete, who has definitely switched to the 400 meters since 2017, after having tried his hand at middle distance in particular.
” I can do better “
His ticket for the Games, Ludovic Oucéni had won without really knowing it during a meeting in Cergy-Pontoise (Val d’Oise), on June 6, where he had beaten his reference time by almost one. second (46 ”09). A brand that makes him the fourth best French performer of the year on the lap, which he thinks he can improve. “ In Cergy, I did not have the perfect race. I know I can do better but I’m not focusing on the clock, ”he says.
That’s pretty good because in Tallinn (Estonia), where the European hopeful championships start tomorrow, the mixed race from Reunion Island will have a convoy of locomotives capable of helping him push the limits of time. “ I am only 12th overall in the competition. There are a lot of guys under 46 seconds, ”informs the Ile-de-France Islander, who will play in the series tomorrow, then, he hopes, the semi-finals on Friday and finally the final on Saturday.