Betanc: Not only for the French

Petanque, a typical French activity, is very lively in Quebec, but it is not only a French affair, it is a far cry from that.

That’s what we saw earlier this month during our visit to Festi-Pétanque La Marseillaise, which was held in Longueuil.

Case in point: Dominic Coe, an international bowler of 20 years. Originally from Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, Dominique now lives in Shawinigan, Maurice. He has been in Quebec for four years. The shooter, of whom Viandes LaFrance is his patroness of pétanque, rocks champions from France, both individually and as a team.

Jean Betanque Quebec

Lillian Larger / QMI

He told us: “I started with tennis in Côte d’Ivoire, at the age of 10, with friends who also played petanque. I watched the French play and became interested.

An international competitor since 1996, at the age of 47, he was Vice World Shooting Champion in 2012 in Marseille, France, and the fifth best precision shooter at the 2016 World Championships in Madagascar or even the African champion in 2017 in Burkina Faso.

In 2018, he represented the Ivory Coast team at the World Championships held in Despiens, Lac Saint-Jean. Then the forty-something fell in love with Peel County.

At the Festi-Pétanque de Longueuil, Dominique Koue did not win the highest titles, but reached the quarter-finals twice. First during the head-to-head confrontation where he narrowly lost to the brilliant world champion, Frenchman Damien Horou, and then in the men’s trio, linked to kicker Francis Cote Dallard and Mario Gilinas, against the team led by the former world champion, Belgian Claudie Whipple.

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Dominic is a great pétanque player […]This is what Francis Cote Dallard told us. My friend Mario Gilinas, who lives near his house, asked me to play with them. We appreciate how Dominic plays, but also how he is in life, he is a very kind and appreciative person.

Not just for men

During the Longueuil event, the biggest surprise came from the unparalleled Quebec Women’s Trilogy, made up of the tournament’s youngest player, Ari-Anne Desmouls, 16, Cassandra Dufresne, 23, and Johann Piccard, 69. They beat the multi-medal world champion Marie-Bergeron team from Charlburg in the semi-finals.

“It’s so insane,” said Cassandra Dufresne, the captain, who was introduced to her pétanque by her mother. I was resuming work after three years off, it was tough with the heat this weekend. I come from Montreal and now live in Gatineau, Ari Anne [est] From the region of Lac-Saint-Jean and Johan, who conveys her experience to us, from Lévis. We put the team together this summer. We followed each other and wanted to play together for five years.

However, they lost in the final to a trio led by Canadian champion and world medalist, Sonya Colombian.

Festi-Pétanque gathered 650 participants this year.

Regionally, Pétanque Québec has 30 clubs with 3,500 affiliated players. The federation estimates the total number of players in Quebec at 100,000, including those who take up the activity occasionally or as a hobby.

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