France concludes the Worlds by winning team silver against Japan
The Japanese Saki Niizoe (in white) and the French Margaux Pinot played the decisive game,…
The French judo team ends this week of the world championships on a high note. Defeated on the wire by Japan (3-4) in the final, the Blues brought back the silver medal during the mixed team event, Sunday May 14. In total, the tricolor delegation returns from Doha (Qatar) with eight charms in its suitcases including two individual titles conquered by its gondola heads: Clarisse Agbegnenou in less than 63 kg and Teddy Riner in more than 100 kg.
France-Japan has become a clic in this event over the years. The last four confrontations in the final of the Worlds had turned to the advantage of the Japanese while the final of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games had consecrated the France team.
Winner in less than twenty seconds, at under 73 kg, Joan-Benjamin Gaba launched the Blues perfectly – against the 2017 world champion in the category, Soichi Hashimoto. His partner, Margaux Pinot, took over, winning the golden score against Saki Niizoe in less than 70 kg. If Goki Tajima revived Japan against Maxime-Gaël Ngayap-Hambou (- 90 kg), and Joseph Terhec did not weigh very heavily against the colossus Tatsuru Saito (+ 90 kg), Coralie Haymé’s victory at the golden score against Maya Segawa offered a match point to the Blues. But Sarah-Léonie Cysique lost to Haruka Funakubo (- 57 kg), putting the two teams on a par.
For the decisive game, the draw offered a final fight between Margaux Pinot and the world champion Saki Niizoe. In this golden score where the first to score offered the title to her team, the Frenchwoman narrowly lost after more than seven minutes of an unbreathable fight, where she thought for a few moments that she had won.
“The script is cruel, but it’s also the magic of [compétitions par] teams. We are world champions for twenty seconds, and then nothing, we finish secondsummed up the national coach Christophe Mina at the microphone of the L’Equipe channel. But it bodes well for the future. They planned to beat us in Paris, and we get into their heads. »
Les Bleus in good shape one year from the Games
Earlier in the day, the French took advantage of an affordable part of the table. They eliminated Lithuania in the round of 16 (4-1), Romania in the quarter-finals (4-0) then Germany in the semi-finals (4-1).
Once again, the event highlighted the enormous reservoir of French judo. Indeed, none of the individual medal-winning athletes this week was included in the composition of the France team, made up of ten judokas (five men and five women).
This eighth medal allows France to finish the world championships in second place in the medal table behind Japan, obviously a leading nation in the discipline.
Just over a year from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Clarisse Agbegnenou and Teddy Riner have confirmed their return to the highest level. Apart from Riner’s eleventh world title and Walide Khyar’s bronze medal in the under 66kg category, however, the men’s group has been less prominent than its women’s counterpart.
The French won five medals: gold from Clarisse Agbegnenou, bronze from Amandine Buchard and silver from Shirine Boukli, Audrey Tcheuméo and Julia Tolofua. The latter scores points for qualifying for the Paris Games where a single ticket will be distributed per nation and per category. In the over 78 kg, she revives competition with Romane o, reigning world champion but eliminated as soon as she entered the running on Saturday.