Team On is growing in France: 800m specialist Corentin Le Clezio joins the brand’s roster of track athletes. Hailing from the Beauvais region and a former handball player, 23-year-old Corentin Le Clezio is a late starter – he began with athletics only in 2017.
Corentin said: “After ten years of playing handball, I just wanted to try a new sport when I arrived at Cergy Pontoise for my studies. On the first day, I met a coach and explained who I am and what I’d like to do – the rest is history. He has been my coach for six years now.”
After focussing on the 800 m distance, Le Clezio was quick to make his mark. He made it all the way to the French national championships in his very first season in 2018, aged 18.
Five years later, not only did he finish a double master’s degree in sports management and in training and optimization of sports performance, but he also took third place in the national Indoor championships and improved his personal best by almost three seconds to 1:45.61 at the Meeting National de l’Est Lyonnais – in what starts to become the typical “Le Clezio” fashion: starting out slow at the end of the field and then setting a surprise attack on the outer lanes on the home stretch.
But sports fan Corentin Le Clezio, who likes to watch and analyse all kinds of sports, also learned about the importance of changing up one’s pattern: “When I set my indoor record in the winter, I was pulled by a clubmate and suddenly found myself alone ahead of the other runners. I was 300m from the finish line and even a little ahead of the wave light! I ended up breaking my own record by more than a second. This race was contrary to my usual racing pattern, but it proved very important in the winter season and in the construction of the 2023 summer season, too.”
Ultimately, his good results led him to be selected to represent France at the Summer Universiade in Chengdu, China, where the 23-year-old reverted back to old habits. He had heads turning, but his sensationally strong finish catapulted him from the very end of the field to the silver medal in the last meters of the race.
With only nine-tenths of a second separating him from the Olympic standard, the Frenchman has the central goal for 2024 in his sights: competing for medals in front of his home audience in Paris.
“Corentin is an up-and-coming athlete who has established promising personal bests this season. He has proven that he has the potential to develop into a world-class athlete, and we are happy to support him on his way to the next highlights,” On Athlete Partnership Manager Niklas Bühner said.
“On is a brand created by athletes for athletes,” Le Clezio explains his decision to become an On athlete. “I am so happy to be joining the team because the philosophy corresponds with mine. On’s commitment to responsible production, for example, is one aspect that is important to me. And it does not hurt that outfits are just beautiful.”