Shirine Boukli in silver, Blandine Pont fails in her quest for bronze
Frenchwoman Shirine Boukli competes in the – 48 kg final at the World Judo Championships…
There was no Franco-French final at the Judo Worlds in the – 48 kg category. The fault of the Japanese Natsumi Tsunoda, who wins gold for the third consecutive year. Shirine Boukli, number 1 in the world ranking, has to settle for silver. Blandine Bridge (3e World) fails at the foot of the podium.
The distance duel between the two Tricolores, engaged in the race to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, nevertheless punctuated the first day of competition, Sunday May 7, in Doha. Among men, in the – 60 kg category, Luka Mkheidze, bronze medalist in Tokyo, and Cédric Revol lost as soon as they entered the competition.
Natsumi Tsunoda, the nightmare of French women
Thanks to the draw, Shirine Boukli and Blandine Pont evolved in mirror all morning, each in a part of the table. A course that gave hope for a tricolor double. But Natsumi Tsunoda, who beat Blandine Pont in the semi-finals, then Shirine Boukli in the final, redesigned the scenario.
The now triple world champion won by ippon, on a sacrifice technique, after 2 min 36 s of combat. She had already narrowly missed immobilizing Shirine Boukli in the first seconds of the final. “It’s the head to knock off the category. I’m not disappointed, that’s how it is. There are things that are moving forward, it’s a final and there will be others. That’s a nice silver medal “All the same relativized the Frenchwoman when she left the tatami.
For good reason: missed out on her Games in Tokyo, then the world championships last year, Shirine Boukli holds her first world medal. After a timid entry into the running, against the Spaniard Laura Martinez, her former pet peeve, the double European champion gradually picked up the pace, winning by ippon against the Maltese Katryna Esposito.
Her semi-final turned out to be a first test, against Japan’s Wakana Koga, 8e and vice-world champion 2021. Opportunistic, Shirine Boukli managed to overthrow her opponent with a technique of sacrifice.
At the microphone of The Channel The Team at the end of the competition, Severine Vandenhende, her federal trainer, only retained the positive: “Shirine demonstrated today that she could be present at a world final. The job now will be to repeat this feat. She has all the tools to succeed. »
France’s Blandine Pont (blue) and Japan’s Wakana Koga (white) during the fight for the bronze medal at the World Judo Championships in -48 kg, in Doha, May 7, 2023. KARIM JAAFAR / AFP
The smile of one can only contrast with the disappointment of the other. ” I came for the best, so I can’t settle for it “, explained Blandine Pont on The Channel The Team. However, for her first world championships, she did not go far from the podium. The Montpelière lost to Wakana Koga, by strangulation, in the fight for the bronze medal.
Before coming up against the two Japanese women, the Frenchwoman had easily obliterated the Russian Sabina Giliazova, then emerged victorious in the golden score of a long fight against the Kazaque Galya Tynbayeva. She had finally won on penalties (hansoku make) against the Brazilian Armanda Lima in the quarters.
Fifth in these Worlds, the young woman has made dazzling progress this season where she won three Grand Slams – World Cup stages – and won her first international selection. But his Olympic future remains, for the moment, compromised by competition from Shirine Boukli.
For his return, Luka Mkheidze misses out
In men, in – 60 kg, the Olympic medalist Luka Mkheidze can harbor regrets. After a long absence due to injury, the Frenchman no longer benefited from the status of top seed in these world championships and was awarded the formidable Belgian Jorre Verstraeten (7e world) as an opponent in the first round. Led by a waza-ari, the judoka returned to the fight, but ended up losing in the golden score.
Cédric Revol, outsider in the category, was beaten in the preliminary round by Korean Jeon Seungbeom.
“Le Monde” deciphers the news and the challenges of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Monday, it is the turn of Walide Khyar, Daikii Bouba (- 66 kg) and Amandine Buchard (- 52 kg), to enter the running in Doha. The Olympic vice-champion will have the firm intention of changing metal, she who already has two individual world bronze medals.