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Grace Zaadi: "I know the dimension I have taken and I assume it perfectly"


Olympic champion last summer with the France team, the center-half approaches the World Championship in Spain (until December 19) with a desire to win as strong as ever.

Grace, how are you feeling as you approach this World Championship?

Grace Zaadi:

I feel good, in good shape.

I can't wait to start the competition and hope we will perform there.

I'm hungry for a gold medal and as we are able, I expect a lot from this World Cup.

Don't you feel a certain weariness, mental and / or physical, as the deadlines are linked at an infernal pace?

Weariness, no. Matches are what I like to play. Now, it is certain that maintaining this rhythm for several years is very complicated. But it's not weariness, it's more physical fatigue. A World Cup is 32 teams, with three or four matches per week. Very hard encounters physically, emotionally and after a while, even with the greatest envy in the world, the body suffers from this accumulation. Afterwards, we, the players, try to manage it as well as possible because we have no choice. Or if, we have the choice to give up a big competition, except that it is absolutely not in our mentality of competitor. Me, when I am called in the France team, I do not even ask myself the question of whether or not to go there,no matter how tired I am.

Did you have time to realize what you achieved this summer in Tokyo?

In fact, I feel like I didn't even have time to go up (laughs). I returned to France for a short week which passed very quickly, during which I had the same lifestyle, the same habits. And it's weird, I have the feeling that I celebrated the title of world or European champion much more than this Olympic title. Finally, it is more the people around, whether it is my relatives or strangers who followed us on television, who make me feel that I am an Olympic champion and that with this team, we have achieved something exceptional in winning this gold medal. And maybe over timeI will better realize what we did in Tokyo.

Today, we know what we are capable of and what we want to strive for.

And everyone in the group wants to win a new title.

Grace Zaadi

Does the departure of certain female workers from the group such as Amandine Leynaud, Alexandra Lacrabère and Siraba Dembélé change certain balances within the team?

Do you feel even more patron of this rejuvenated troop than before?

(Thinks) I don't know if I'm going to be even more of the boss. It is certain, however, that responsibilities will have to be shared, dispatched between us because the strength of the France team has always been to be dangerous everywhere. We have always known how to rely on a bench of quality, superior in many cases to that of our opponents. We have to keep this. We must not only have one or two bosses in the field and everything starts to go through them. Otherwise, it will become too easy for our opponents to counter us. Then, if we speak outside the field, I know the dimension that I have taken these last two or three years. I assume it perfectly and I want to continue to do so.I don't put more pressure on myself because some have left. It will happen naturally. Simply, these departures mean that some young people will have to gain experience more quickly because we could run out of it.

So, what is your ambition for this World Championship? Do you feel a strong pressure of result because of your status as Olympic champion?

We must keep the same objective, namely to want to go as far as possible and to seek the title. Regarding the pressure of the result, we have not yet discussed that with the president of the Federation… (smile) Simply, today, we know what we are capable of and what we want to strive for. And everyone in the group wants to win a new title. We feel capable of doing it, we are not going to lie to ourselves to try to protect ourselves from some pressure. The truth is simple: we have the potential to go far in every competition. This does not mean that we are going to get there, but that we can, and therefore we want to do it.

The draw did not spare you with a journey strewn with serious pitfalls ...

(Smile) Yes, that's clear. It's going to be hot. Especially since teams like Angola and Montenegro are used to making good starts in competition before suffering due to a bench that is too short and a lack of rotations. We will first face three teams with totally different profiles. We are still struggling with Montenegro. The same against Slovenia. And then Angola, it hits hard, it's very physical and we are not used to playing against African teams.

Not to mention that the France team often tends to miss its competitive debut…

(She laughs) No, I didn't mean to say it, you're forcing me there.

It gives me so much to start competitions like this.

Hope people don't think it's voluntary on our part.

Because it is not at all.

There, with the formula that awaits us, we will have to take points quickly to better tackle the rest.

We will not have time to leave points on the way in the first round if we want to claim to reach the last four.

We're going to have to be strong from the start for once, otherwise we will put ourselves in a difficult position.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-12-02

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