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Christophe Lemaitre is an athlete competing in track and field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for France, making his debut appearance at the Games, where he figures to contend for medals in the 100m and 200m. In 2011, Lemaitre set personal bests in both events to firmly establish himself as the European sprinter of record while also becoming the fastest Caucasian sprinter in history.

Christophe Lemaitre went to his first World Championships in Daegu in 2011 with high expectations and did not disappoint. In the 100m, he finished just off the podium in fourth in 10.19. In the 200m, Lemaitre won bronze in 19.80, smashing his personal best and national record in the event. He also powered France to a silver medal in the 4x100m relay in 38.20.

In a big early-season race in 2011, Lemaitre lined up against Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell in the 100m at the Diamond League Golden Gala in Rome. Although competitive, he finished behind the two Jamaicans, running 10.00. On June 7, at the first meet of the Pro Athlé Tour in Montreuil, Lemaitre broke his own national record with a time of 9.96 in the 100m. Eleven days later, at the European Team Championships, he lowered that mark again to 9.95. At the French National Championships in July, he clocked a winning 9.92, the fastest time run by a European since Francis Obikwelu of Portugal clocked a continental-record 9.86 in 2004.

Although his times in the 100m have generated more headlines, Lemaitre feels the 200m is his best event, and is willing to sacrifice running the shorter sprint to better his chances at an Olympic medal. "For now, I have no plans to run the 100m at the London Olympics," he said before the Diamond League meet in Rome. "I'm better at 200 meters. I have more chances. My ultimate goal is obviously the gold medal." Lemaitre added that he still intends on doubling at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, where he believes he is capable of Top 5 finishes in both events.

Lemaitre's precocious talent caught the eye of American record holder Tyson Gay, who earlier in 2011 predicted great things for his French competition. "The only thing better than a race between Asafa (Powell), me and Usain (Bolt) would be one with the three of us and Christophe Lemaitre from France," Gay said. "If he keeps developing, he has the tools to deliver an Olympic medal to France, I think. He gets it done in the big races.

Although his sub-10 runs have elevated him to an elite level in the international sprinting world, Lemaitre knows he is still a far way off from where he can challenge the top three sprinters in the world on a consistent basis. "Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay are part of a world to which I do not belong — well, not yet," Lemaitre said. "I still do not really consider myself as a professional athlete. I am still learning. My main focus now is the London Games in 2012."

Lemaitre was the winner of the 2010 men's European Athlete of the Year Award, and was also named the 2010 French Sportsman of the Year by sports daily L'Equipe. To measure his impact on sports and athletics in France, after he broke the 10 seconds mark, L'Équipe put him on the front page, even though the Tour de France was taking place.

Lemaitre's 9.98 in the 100m at Nationals set the stage for a rematch with Great Britain's Dwain Chambers, whom he lost to at the European Team Championships a year earlier. This time, victory was Lemaitre's as he sped to gold in the 100m in 10.11. The next day, after comfortably progressing through the rounds, Lemaitre became the double European champion by storming to victory in the 200m final in 20.37, beating Great Britain's Christian Malcolm by 0.01. Lemaitre then teamed with Jimmy Vicaut, Pierre-Alexis Pessonneaux, and Martial Mbandjock to win the 4x100m relay in 38.11, becoming the first man ever to win three gold medals at the European Championships.

On July 9, 2010, Lemaitre became the second non-West African by descent and the first Caucasian to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds with a 9.98 at the French National Championships in Valence. Afterward he said, "This was my goal to break it of course. One has to run under 10 seconds in order to be part of the world's best. I will be recognized as the first white man to run it, but today is mainly historical for myself. In my eyes, sprinting has never been a matter of skin color. It is a superfluous matter. It's not about color, it's about hard work." One day later, Lemaitre equaled the French national record in the 200 m with a time of 20.16 seconds.

At the start of the 2010 outdoor season, Lemaitre opened with a run of 10.09 seconds in Aix-les-Bains before winning in 10.24 into a headwind of -2.2 m/s in Vénissieux. He ran at the French Club National Championships in Franconville in May and recorded a new 100m personal best of 10.03 seconds. Afterward, he said he was disappointed to have missed Ronald Pognon's French record of 9.99 seconds. He aimed once more at the record at the 2010 European Team Championships and, although he again missed his target, he finished runner-up to Great Britain's Dwain Chambers with a personal best of 10.02 seconds.

Lemaitre only continued to get faster with more training. During the 2009 indoor season, he set a new national junior record in the 60m in Paris, running 6.64. Outdoors at the European Junior Championships, Lemaitre won gold in the 100m and set a new European junior record with a time of 10.04 seconds. The achievement earned him the men's European Athletics Rising Star of the Year Award.

After his initial success, Lemaitre joined the athletics club in Aix-les-Bains where coaches refined his talent and started to polish up his technique. That work began to bear fruit in 2008, when the 180year-old Lemaitre won the French Junior Championship in the 100m with a time of 10.26s and then went on to win the 200m at the World Junior Championships with a time of 20.83.

Lemaitre grew up in the French town of Culoz, where he played handball, rugby and soccer, long before his speed was discovered. In 2005 at the age of 15, the track coach at his school discovered his speed and steered him toward sprinting. During the national sprinting events that year, Lemaitre ended up with the fastest 50m time in the country.


How tall is Christophe Lemaitre? How old is Christophe Lemaitre? Where does Christophe Lemaitre live? Find out here.

Age: 26 years old
Birthday: June 11, 1990
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birthplace: Annecy, France
Hometown: Culoz, France
Current Residence: Aix-les-Bains, France

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