Special envoy to Tokyo
Special envoy to Tokyo
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An Olympic title in Japan, dominating the local judokas after an exceptional final. An unthinkable feat. Unreal. Like beating the All Blacks in rugby at home. But in Tokyo, this week, impossible was not French. This title, Teddy Riner did not have it yet. After gold in London (2012) and Rio (2016), bronze in Beijing (2008) and this Friday in Tokyo, the Frenchman completed his formidable collection, joining the Japanese Tadahiro Nomura at the forefront of the most successful judokas in Olympic history. A coronation in an unprecedented event on the Olympic program, the mixed team competition. Something new, but the same desire, within a French collective which will have been particularly brilliant in the majestic Nippon Budokan, to finish on the best possible note.Together. For those, rare finally, to have passed more or less through individually.
Clarisse Agbegnenou SERGIO PEREZ / REUTERS
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Like Guillaume Chaine, winner of his first two fights without trembling against Israel and the Netherlands. Like Margaux Pinot, who saved the homeland from an earthquake in the quarter-finals by winning the decisive match against Israel's Gili Sharir on ippon. Or like Axel Clerget, affected by his loss in less than 90 kilos against the Dutchman Noel Van T End but who was able to savor his revenge in the team semi-finals this Saturday. With still "a bit of frustration" not to have done it three days earlier. But at 34, for what will be his first and last Games, he relished this first Olympic medal. Without knowing yet that the best was yet to come….
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How, objectively, imagine seeing these Blues defeat the Japanese armada and its 9 Olympic titles in the past week? And then Clarisse Agbegnenou ideally launched this final by dominating nothing less than Chizuru Arai, the Olympic champion in the category above her own, the less than 70 kilos. On ippon moreover. A huge feat, which says a lot about the current level of the French, titled in less than 63 kilos. Behind, Axel Clerget made the feat palpable by inflicting in turn an ippon to Shoichiro Mukai at the end of a bitter fight of nearly nine minutes, which made the sound volume rise in a Budokan which, suddenly, no longer appeared to be here. closed. On the other hand, facing the impressive Akira Sone, Romane Dicko could do nothing and ended up immobilized on the ground. Japan was revived,but it was Captain Teddy Riner's turn to make his debut ...
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Opposed to the Olympic champion of the lower weight category, Aaron Wolf, the Guadeloupe spoke about his power and his size advantage, to say the least considerable (about twenty centimeters). Quickly sanctioned, the Japanese did his best, resisted until the golden score but he eventually cracked, David not always beating Goliath, especially when he has ten world titles to his credit. All that was needed was a victory to initial the triumph. Against Tsukasa Yoshida, Sarah Léonie Cysique took the advantage of a waza-ari. The French clan began to cry louder and louder. The Japanese tried everything, but the seconds ticked off until she was released. France, Olympic champion in the land of judo. How to dream of a more beautiful end….