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Judo: with Teddy Riner and his French stars, PSG are on a Champions League mission

2023-12-08T19:37:40.795Z

Highlights: Judo: with Teddy Riner and his French stars, PSG are on a Champions League mission. This Saturday, in Belgrade, the best clubs in Europe will compete in a team competition. PSG travels there with all its stars in order to. What if PSG's first Champions League of the season came from judo? Before hoping for success in football, in the men's and women's sections, or in handball, the capital club travels to Belgrade (Serbia) this Saturday.


This Saturday, in Belgrade, the best clubs in Europe will compete in a team competition. PSG travels there with all its stars in order to


What if PSG's first Champions League of the season came from judo? Before hoping for success in football, in the men's and women's sections, or in handball, the capital club travels to Belgrade (Serbia) this Saturday, the venue of the great European Cup 2023. PSG are in line with the women's and men's draws, with 19 athletes making the trip to the Balkans on Thursday. Three other French clubs are joining them: RSC Champigny (women), JC Pontault-Combault (women's) and CO Sartrouville (men's).

In PSG's sights, a second success in the Champions League after the one in 1995 (which was then called the European Cup), won by David Douillet's team in the men's draw. PSG judo continued a French tradition since US Orleans or Racing Club de France dominated Europe from 1985 to 1993, winning 8 of the 9 editions played. Since then, Levallois (winner in 2011, finalist in 2009 and 2013), Chilly-Mazarin (finalist in 2011) and Sainte-Geneviève Sport (finalist in 2010) have continued the legacy.

In the women's draw, US Orléans is also a five-time winner (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008) while Levallois (2010, 2011) and RSC Champigny (2012, 2015) have also triumphed. The current format of the Champions League has existed since 2018 and France has only won in the women's category, in 2018, thanks to FLAM 91 and in 2019 with RSC Champigny. PSG are aiming to win both brackets in Belgrade's Stark Arena. Five categories are represented in the women's (-52 kg, -57 kg, -63 kg, -70 kg and +70 kg) and men's (-66 kg, -73 kg, -81 kg, -90 kg and +90 kg) categories.

Not a club like any other

Seventh last year in the men's category and third in the women's category, PSG judo arrives in Serbia with a 5-star cast. Teddy Riner, Romane Dicko, Marie-Ève Gahié, Amandine Buchard, Luka Mkheidze, Walide Khyar and Alpha Djalo are among the 19 athletes selected for the trip. These seven names were also selected for the France team for the Olympic Games. A list to which PSG could add Alexis Mathieu and Audrey Tcheuméo, also present in Belgrade, in the coming weeks. This would mean that the capital club would represent 9 of the 14 French judokas for Paris 2024.

PSG judo is not quite a club like the others. It is first and foremost a showcase for French judo. Relaunched in 2017 after a first existence from 1992 to 2002, the section focuses on the highest level with significant resources. In September 2023, PSG strengthened their squad by signing Margaux Pinot, Audrey Tcheuméo, Luka Mkheidze and Walide Khyar. They joined French executives such as Amandine Buchard, Priscilla Gneto and Teddy Riner. An XXL cast built to win, whether it's the Champions League or Olympic medals. With less than a year to go until the Paris 2024 Games, PSG intends to be a major player.

It also has no structure. In March 2020, the club announced a partnership with the town hall of Ivry-sur-Seine. A win-win deal. To sum up: the city of Val-de-Marne makes its facilities (its dojo) available and the PSG can provide its coaches and/or athletes' interventions with the local judo school. The PSG section, on the other hand, does not have a judo school and only recruits from the sport's hopefuls. In total, it has 25 athletes, the youngest of whom are 18 years old.

An elite group that does not make us forget the ambitions of President Djamel Bouras. At the start of the project, the Olympic champion from Atlanta rehearsed three areas of development: high level, a judo school and solidarity judo. "There is no one parameter that prevails over the other," he said in a 2019 interview with Le Parisien Magazine. For the time being, only the first axis has been successful. As for the other two, PSG and Djamel Bouras assure that they are not giving up their quest. But first, there's a Champions League to go for.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-12-08

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