Successful first for team judo!
Until now organized around individual confrontations between fighters of the same weight categories, Olympic sport has acquired a new, more collective event on the occasion of its return to its homelands.
And if the Nippon Budokan sounded sadly empty, the judoka teams delivered a magnificent show on Saturday morning.
The success of the new event can be explained first of all by the composition of the French team which has fielded six judokas including four individual medalists.
Frustrated not to be on the first step of the podium, some took the opportunity to take their revenge like Teddy Riner, Sarah-Léonie Cysique or Romane Dicko.
Clarisse Agbégnénou has confirmed her new status as Olympic champion.
"This allows some who do not have medals or who have been disappointed to re-mobilize for the team event," confirms Frédérique Jossinet, vice-president of the French judo federation (FFJ) in charge of the high level.
An Olympic medal counts for a judoka, whether in terms of bonus or recognition in the community.
A "telegenic and spectacular" event
However, the success of team judo is also due to the scenarios they offer.
For example, the course of the France team is edifying since it first achieved a hotly contested meeting against Israel in the quarter-finals (4-3) before sweeping the Netherlands in the semi-final. (4-0).
Finally, she offered the gold medal in a dream poster against the prestigious Japanese team (4-1).
"It's very telegenic, it's spectacular," says the 45-year-old former judokate.
There is commitment in particular due to the mixture of categories.
Those who come from the smallest have nothing to lose and give their all and those who come from the higher feel obligated to win.
In the final, Teddy Riner thus faced a valiant Aaron Wolf, Olympic champion in the lower category (+ 90 kg).
Inaugurated in 2017, just after the Olympic Games in Rio, the mixed nature of the new event also represents an opportunity for certain nations, as Frédérique Jossinet explains: “The mix will help the development of judo in certain countries.
Kosovo, which has a very good women's team [
Editor's note: two gold medals won in Tokyo
] can be encouraged to develop its judo even more.
I think we will keep the event for @ Paris2024 😉 https://t.co/9K200PaFx6
- Paris 2024 (@ Paris2024) July 31, 2021
With this sensational introduction on the Olympic scene, team judo has a good chance of being maintained for the next Olympics as suggested by the organization of Paris 2024 on its Twitter account. Be that as it may, France has already entered the history of this event as underlined by the vice-president of the FFJ: “Perhaps in some years we will have forgotten the names of the members of this team but the France will forever remain the first. "