Fanny Quenot likes to take up challenges. What could be more normal for an athlete specializing in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. In 2022, she dreamed of a baby break. Bet won for the Guadeloupean who should not be away from the slopes for too long. Meeting on the occasion of the week of women’s sport.
At the start, there was absence. Worrying. Fanny Quenot, 31, did not appear on any list of entries in the various meetings of the winter season. Was the screamer hurt? Removed from the tracks? “Nothing of the sort, she smiled. I’m just three months pregnant.” Everything is explained. The Guadeloupean even tells us that her early pregnancy is going perfectly. No nausea. No major concerns. In the Quenot family, the happy event to come would rather disturb the future dad. “I do believe that François-Xavier is doing a little couvade. He must have taken a good kilo. At the level of the belly. It’s cute.”
Fanny Quenot announces it straight away: “Luck was with me. I found myself pregnant as soon as I wanted to.” The pause is no less active. The Guadeloupean did not want to stop all physical activity overnight. “There was no question for me of giving up on sport. I still do three to four sessions a week. No hurdle crossing of course. But swimming, aerobics, a little sprinting, sessions with my physio…” Fanny has certainly lost muscle but not determination. “If I can, I will train until the seventh month.”
Next August, Fanny will therefore become a mother. “You can never know how the body reacts after a pregnancy.” Nevertheless, the champion would see herself returning to business in the first months of 2023. “I’m not worrying about that at the moment. But if everything goes well, what would prevent me from participating in the winter season? I don’t forbid myself anything. One thing is certain: I will return to the slopes and hurdles in 2023. In the winter or in the spring.”
Guadeloupean athlete Fanny Quenot at the Meeting de Sotteville in 2018
In 2021, Fanny Quenot was aiming for a first Olympic qualification. Unfortunately, the Guadeloupean was never able to get her ticket to Tokyo. “I was far too irregular in terms of lap times. Mentally, 2021 was for me, the year too many.” With her sports psychologist, the champion wanted to analyze her too average results. Conclusions quickly emerged. “I’ve been dreaming of having a child for five years. Year after year, athletics made me postpone the deadline. Until a form of rupture. There was an inconsistency in me between my body and my mind.”
In 2022, the baby break also allows Fanny to release all the accumulated pressure. “I feel much more relaxed mentally.” Relaxed but not indifferent for all that. “Even pregnant, I remain passionate.” From Guadeloupe, Fanny misses nothing of the winter athletics season. Wilhem Belocian, Laeticia Bapté, Jeanice Laviolette… Ketty Cham’s group can do great things. “I am fully behind them. They are all very well. You will see that they are going to have a great winter.”
Guadeloupean athlete Fanny Quenot in the tricolor jersey during the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.
If the Guadeloupean intends to return to competition in 2023, the major deadline remains 2024. The Paris Olympic Games. An adventure at home and necessarily different for Fanny. “I will approach things with a certain distance. There will no longer be only athletics in my life. This way of putting things into perspective could give me a real advantage. Mentally speaking.”
And since France is celebrating women’s sport all this week, the opportunity was too good to ask Fanny Quenot how he is doing in 2022. “Better and better! And I would like to thank all these women who have denounced injustices.” So much for the overview. On a specific level, athletics does not seem to be pitied. “We do not feel any differences in treatment between men and women.” There remain team sports where the observation is more nuanced. “We have seen real progress in Tokyo in women’s handball and basketball in particular. For other disciplines, it remains more difficult. Football for example. But let’s say that overall, women’s sport is progressing well.”