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SKIING

Ailing ski jumper Schmitt slams scrawny weight allowances

German champion ski jumper Martin Schmitt this week became the latest athlete within his sport to criticise dangerous minimum weight rules following an announcement that he was taking a break due to exhaustion stemming from nutritional deficiencies.

Ailing ski jumper Schmitt slams scrawny weight allowances
Photo: DPA

After earning a disappointing 21st place at the Four Hills Tournament this season, Schmitt said he would not compete in World Cup events for several weeks.

“The fact that I am not fit right now is a result of being at the (lower) limits of my weight for years – one has to walk a tightrope walk to avoid negative effects in jumping,” Schmitt told daily Bild on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old, who has jumped with gold and silver Olympic medal teams, told the paper he would have to gain four kilogrammes to feel healthy again.

“That would be a weight with which I could train well without feeling weak each time,” he said.

On Monday, his coach Werner Schuster had told the television show Blickpunkt Sport that the ski jumper would take the time to get back into form ahead of the Vancouver winter Olympics in February.

At 1.82-metres (six-feet) tall, Schmitt weighs just 63 kilos (138 pounds) and eats just 1,300 calories per day when preparing for competition – about half that recommended for a man of his size, not to mention one participating in vigorous training. But the athlete said that any more weight would make him uncompetitive.

“If this wasn’t my weight, then I wouldn’t jump as far. For example, if I weighed two, three kilos more, I would lose five to six metres in distance. No skier in the world can make up for that,” he said.

Schmitt told the paper that he hoped the International Ski Federation (FIS) would raise their Body Mass Index (BMI) regulations. The current rules, already roundly criticised by Finnish ski jumper Janne Ahonen, stipulate that the height to weight ratio must be 20.0 including a skier’s suit, helmet and shoes. While the FIS has said it plans to increase the low limit to 20.5 next season, Schmitt said they should aim for 21.0.

“Ski jumpers would still be really thin,” he said.

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FOOD & DRINK

Five of France’s new Michelin foodie hotspots

As Michelin publishes its 2022 guide, here are five of the most exciting new entries into the hallowed 'bible' of French gastronomy.

Five of France's new Michelin foodie hotspots

Here are five must-visit venues of gastronomic delight for food lovers.

READ ALSO New Michelin guide celebrates ‘resilient’ French cuisine

Plénitude – Paris

It’s only been open seven months, but the Paris restaurant – on the first floor of Cheval Blanc Paris – now has three stars, awarded to chef Arnaud Donckele in Cognac on Tuesday. Picking up three stars all at once is almost unheard of – only Yannick Alléno achieved the same feat in 2015 with the Pavillon Ledoyen in the 8th arrondissement.

Broths, vinaigrettes, creams, veloutés, juices are at the heart of the cuisine at Plénitude. A seasonal six-course Symphony Menu costs €395, while the Sail Away Together menu of three savoury dishes and one sweet is €320.

La Villa Madie – Cassis, Bouches-du-Rhône

Another new three-star venue listed in this year’s guide came as something of a surprise, by all accounts. Dimitri and Marielle Droisneau’s restaurant in the south of France overlooks the Mediterranean.

“We took this house nine years ago. We had a baby, we have a second one now. We live in the villa. We work in a paradise,” chef Dimitri said at the ceremony in Cognac.

The cuisine follows the seasons, and uses carefully selected local produce. As such, the menu changes daily according to what’s available. The Menu Anse de Corton – a starter, a fish course, a meat course, and a sweet treat – costs €130, while the six-course Menu Espasado “Cap Canaille” is €180.

Plaza Athénée – Paris

Top Chef series three winner Jean Imbert was one of a number of former contestants on the show to win a star for his restaurant in the palace le Plaza Athénée – with the jury praising his “impressive revival of the greatest classics of French gastronomy”.

Guillaume Pape – a finalist in series 10, also picked up his first star for  L’Ebrum, in Brest; as did series nine finalist Victor Mercier, for FIEF in the ninth arrondissement, honoured for producing “empowering cuisine, made exclusively using French produce”. Mercier was also named Young Chef of the Year.

The self-titled Menu de Jean at Plaza Athénée costs €296

Villa La Coste – Bouches-du-Rhône

Continuing the Top Chef theme, judge Hélène Darroze – who already runs the three-star Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London – was awarded a star for her restaurant in the south of France, as was fellow-judge Philippe Etchebest for his latest venture in Bordeaux.

Local vegetables and fruit are the stars of the dining show at Villa La Coste, with meat and fish playing an accompanying role. A three-course lunch menu is €75, while a full dinner menu is €155.

Domaine Riberach: La Coopérative – Bélesta, Ariège 

One of six new restaurants to be awarded a Green Star for its seasonal food and it’s determined approach to ‘sustainable gastronomy’. This year’s six Green Star winners join 81 establishments which received the award last year in France.

“Slow food” is the order of the day, with menus created based – as is often the case – on the seasons, the market and chef Julien Montassié’s instinct. The chief rule is that food must be local – “0 km is our motto”, boasts the website.

The six-course Menu Latitude is €85 without wine. A three-course Menu Km0 is €49 – and a children’s two-course menu is €18.

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