Transat Jacques-Vabre: Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben, first to arrive in Martinique

Their nerves put to the test for two weeks, Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques-Vabre on the night of Monday to Tuesday, November 23 at Fort-de-France in Martinique, to win. in the 15m multihull category, ahead of the racing superstars, the Ultimes, whose course is longer.

The tandem, associated for the second time in the doubles race, burst into joy after being the first of the 75 boats still in the race (out of 79 at the start) to cross the line in the bay of Fort-de-France, at 9:54 p.m. Monday local time (2:54 a.m. Paris time).

→ READ. Sailing: the Transat Jacques-Vabre in a favorable wind

They thus won the race in the Ocean Fifty category (15m multihulls), one of the four classes of sailboats entered in the race. The organizers have set up three different routes depending on the class of the boat to allow a relatively grouped arrival.

The first Ultimes expected at midday

“It’s a lot of happiness, we are happy with the efforts we have made over a fortnight. It’s awesome ! These are rare moments in a lifetime, and that is priceless ”, launched with a broad smile on his face Sébastien Rogues, who answered journalists from his boat moored to the pontoon lit by the full moon and in the absence of the public due to the curfew in force in Martinique.

The two sailors arrived before the fastest boats in the world, the Ultimes (32 m long flying maxi-trimarans), which have a course a third longer than the Ocean Fifty, and whose current leader, the tandem Franck Cammas-Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild) is expected from midday Tuesday (Paris time).

“It’s always a pleasure to arrive before the Ultimes, it must be said! They really didn’t have the same course as us and, anyway, they’re the most beautiful boats in the world with the best sailors in the world. That won’t change. But there is little chance in life when you can win the Jacques-Vabre and even less win it in front of the Ultimes, so maybe this one will be the only one in our life ”, rejoiced Sébastien Rogues, at the end of a grueling race. “This Transat Jacques-Vabre was longer than expected, we were all a little surprised, it was a lot of psychological commitment”, summarized Matthieu Souben.



Football: how the Premier League tries to end violence

During the final of the European Football Championship between England and Italy on July 11, violence and racism made a resounding return on the international sports scene. Viewers and journalists were shocked to see unusual images in the final of a major competition: clashes with the police – which resulted in 49 arrests – and even a group of around 20 people without tickets forcing passage through the enclosure athletic.

The gloomy images were followed by racist attacks on the perpetrators of the missed penalties by the England team, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. UEFA, which manages European sports competitions, did not appreciate it: on October 18, it fined the English federation € 100,000 and ordered the England team to play their next home match. in camera.

Violence has disappeared from the screens

Hooliganism, nicknamed “English disease” in the 1960s, would he be back? Not in the Premier League, the showcase of English football, from which it has been largely eradicated. “For a long time, football clubs and authorities considered hooliganism to be a social problem disconnected from football. But the creation of the Premier League by the Sky channel in 1992 changed this approach: the Premier League had to become commercially attractive. Violence therefore had to disappear from the screens ”, recounts John Williams, a sociologist at the University of Leicester and specialist in hooliganism.

→ ANALYSIS Violence between supporters: how to better prevent it?

At the time, those in charge of the new championship used many levers to change the composition of the supporters of the participating clubs. Obligation to have a seat, but allocated randomly, which made it impossible for supporters to meet by affinity; higher ticket prices to keep young people out; ban on obtaining a ticket for an away match without being a subscriber but above all the deployment of surveillance cameras in stadiums and impressive police or security forces.

The results are in. In ten years, arrests in stadiums or on the sidelines of matches have been divided by three, from 3,089 in the five divisions in 2010-2011 to 1,089 during the 2019-2020 season. Stadium bans were halved, from 3,174 to 1,621, including 453 in the Premier League.

The middle classes in the stadiums

This very expensive groundwork made it possible to attract the middle classes, an older population and families, to the point of transforming the Premier League into a luxury product. This has greatly tempered the atmosphere of most elite stadiums, deplore some observers. “When the PSG supporters came to Liverpool in 2019 with their club during a meeting, all the elders like me remembered our youth”, remembers the sociologist, who is also a supporter, with a certain nostalgia: “This craze, this noise, this fury, they were formidable! “

However, these measures were never applied in the lower divisions. “They are much more free, less regulated, less supervised, assures John Williams. Violence therefore persists more. “

Racism that endures

As for racism, however, it has not disappeared from the Premier League, even if it is becoming more discreet and severity is also required. During the 2019-2020 season, several black players complained of being victims of monkey cries, especially in the stadiums of Tottenham, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City. A City supporter accused during a meeting with Manchester United has been given a three-year stadium ban.

“Racism is found even in the sports media”, notes Paul Campbell, also a sociologist at the University of Leicester. Together with colleagues, he analyzed journalists’ comments on BBC and ITV TV channels in 20 of the 2018 World Cup matches. They found a glaring difference in treatment: “70% of the positive comments about black players spoke of their physical ability, 10% of their natural abilities, 10% of their abilities related to their training and learning. For white players, 50% concerned their learning, 18% their physical strength and 8% their natural aptitudes. “


In France, proposals expected in two weeks

A meeting was held at the Ministry of the Interior, urgently, Tuesday, November 23, in response to the excesses of supporters in football stadiums, in the presence of the ministers of justice and sports, representatives of the Football League professional and Federation, as well as some club leaders.

→ ANALYSIS. Football: against overflows in stadiums, rules that are too vague

At the end of this meeting, Gerald Darmanin assured that measures would be announced in two weeks. “We have agreed to work together on four subjects”, detailed the Minister of the Interior. The prohibition of stadiums for some supporters, their security (cameras, safety nets), private security responsible for controlling access and the decision-making process for stopping matches are the areas on which participants must work, who are will meet again in two weeks to submit their proposals to the Prime Minister.



US Open: first title for Medvedev and shattered dream for Djokovic

Things had started rather well for Novak Djokovic, greeted on his arrival on the court, Sunday, September 12, by a standing ovation from a public more used to pampering his two great rivals, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. His statement the day before the match (“I will play this match as if it was the last”) had tickled well, but the tennis planet seemed to be headed in the right direction. With in the stands the Australian Rod Laver, the last champion to have succeeded in 1969 the feat that the Serbian attempted on the New York court, to win the four grand slams in the same calendar year, nothing seemed to happen to him.

→ PORTRAIT. Winner at Roland-Garros, Djokovic on the road to the record

Wasn’t he still on 23 straight wins in the four majors? Had he not corrected his opponent and runner-up in the world rankings, in the final of the last Australian Open with a scathing (7-5, 6-2, 6-2)? And then, how could the Serb miss his chance to finally beat Federer and Nadal in the number of grand slams? The three masters are at 20 each and this New York final was to give him the opportunity to add one more trophy to his table and take a step ahead.

But opposite, the Russian, well advised by his French trainer Gilles Cervara, one of the best on the circuit, did not hear it that way. From the outset, he surprised the Serbian in his first serve game, taking the risk of serving his second ball at the speed of his first. An aggressive strategy also declined in the exchanges, where he never gave Djokovic time to settle in his final, nor to breathe, hitting winning shots with almost every ball.

Djokovic’s tears

Obviously, the young Russian who had let slip two finals against Nadal in New York and Djokovic in Melbourne by showing himself too borrowed and reverent vis-à-vis his prestigious opponents, had learned the lesson. “If I get there, I’ll probably be somewhere in the history books as having been the one who didn’t let him”, he stressed before the match in a statement that should have been listened to with more attention. Implacable, he never loosened either his teeth or the noose, making doubt with each ball a Serbian much more affected by the stake than he had wanted to let appear.

During the final change of sides in the third set, we even saw a few tears streaming down Djoko’s cheeks, which he again struggled to hold back during the speeches after the cup ceremony. Always great lord, the Serb warmly congratulated his opponent. “Congratulations to Daniil for his incredible game. If there is anyone who deserved to win this GrandSlam, it’s you. I wish you more Grand Slam victories and success in the future. “

The new generation begins to assert itself

Message received with a smile by the winner, first representative of what has been called the “nextgen” (next generation) to transform the essay, burning politeness to his two main rivals in this exercise, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. “I’m very sorry for Novak, I can’t imagine what he must be feeling”, kindly let go of the winner after the game. Be reassured, the career of Novak Djokovic, 34, is far from over, unlike that of his two historical competitors Federer and Nadal, victims of repeated injuries and that we feel on the decline. The Serbian remains a solid number 1, winner of three grand slams this season.

But we had the feeling of witnessing a handover on the night of Sunday 12 to Monday 13 September. This historic victory for the 25-year-old Russian allows him to take the lead of a generation that has long awaited the opportunity to finally shake up the Big 3 (Nadal, Federer and Djokovic) which prevented him from growing up. The end of the season and the following one promise to be exciting, because these “little ones” are now playing in the big leagues. Stefanos Tsitsipas took two sets from the Serbian in the Roland Garros final and Alexander Zverev deprived him in Tokyo of another dream he cherished, the Olympic gold medal.



Paralympic Games: Alexandre Léauté wins first gold medal for France

It was his goal and he did it. The multiple 20-year-old world champion Alexandre Léauté won Thursday August 26 a first gold medal for the Blues in Tokyo. This is a second medal for the French cycling delegation after Marie Patouillet’s bronze medal the day before.

To win against the Australian Darren Hicks, Alexandre Léauté went so far as to beat the world record, which he already held, with a time of 3’31”478.

A graduate of a BTS in industrial maintenance, the young Breton has devoted himself 100% to his sport for a few months. After joining the Pôle espoir de paracyclisme in Urt (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), he won the title of world road champion in 2019 and two world track titles in 2020.

10 days of internship in Portugal

Hemiplegic after a stroke at birth, to roll, he mainly uses his left leg, the right having a strong deficit of muscle strength. ” To sum up, I pedal with one leg and one arm even though I have all four limbs ”, he explained on Facebook in April 2020. “This deficiency allows me to be eligible in handisport but also to participate in races valid in FFC in a lower category. “

He had finalized his preparation for the Tokyo Paralympic Games with a 10-day internship in Portugal, training with an intense program on track and on the road. His efforts were rewarded with a gold medal.



Paralympic Games: the first French medal for Marie Patouillet

Cyclist Marie Patouillet opened the French team’s counter at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Wednesday August 25 from the first day of competition, winning the bronze medal on the track in the individual pursuit (category C5).

→ ANALYSIS. Tokyo Games: Paralympism in full swing

“I don’t really realize. For my first Games, first event and first medal ”, reacted the 33-year-old tracker, more of a sprint specialist.

Great medal chances again on Friday

She is also trained by Grégory Baugé, quadruple world champion in individual speed and silver medalist in the same event at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

In Japan, hope sparked by the Paralympic Games

General practitioner, the para-cyclist, born with a defect in one foot, has great chances of medal again Friday in the 500 meters standing start, her specialty of which she is vice-world champion (2020) and bronze medalist (2019) .

Arriving late in cycling, Marie Patouillet had a revelation by running the stage of the Tour cyclotouriste in 2017. She was one of France’s first serious chances of medals in individual pursuit, with the pair Alexandre Lloveras – Corentin Ermenault in the same discipline but on tandem.

Until September 5, 539 gold medals will be contested between 4,400 para-athletes, including a few stars such as the German long jumper Markus Rehm, nicknamed “Blade Jumper” due to its carbon prosthesis blade.



In Japan, the birth of the first professional women’s football league

On June 17, hundreds of people gathered in Kumagaya Stadium, 70 km from Tokyo. The local women’s football team faces that of the Nagano region, a few weeks before the launch of the first professional women’s football league (We League) in September. “My 10 year old daughter wants to join the Kumagaya team. We will surely come back here for the opening game of the league, his creation is great news ”, tells an enthusiastic mother who came to the stadium with her family.

Like a Japanese society still largely unequal, Japanese footballers still suffer from the comparison with their male counterparts. And this, while they won the World Cup in 2011 and the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics. The current women’s football league has for example only ten professional players, or about 5% of the workforce. .

Objective: 5,000 spectators per match

In order to change the situation, the Japanese Federation announced, in June 2020, the creation of this WE League. “The idea is to change not only football, but also the whole of society”, says Miyuki Kobayashi, executive member of WE League. In this league, at least fifteen players in each of the eleven teams will benefit from a professional contract, with an annual salary of at least € 20,000.

Kozue Ando, ​​a 39-year-old midfielder who has played 126 games for the Japan team, hails the improvements made in recent years. “20 years ago, we used a college ground to train and we changed in the shade of a tree”, she says. Having experienced it, she knows that progress can be very rapid. “When we left for the World Cup in 2011, there were three journalists at the airport. When we returned, there were more than 500. Now that the league is established, to strengthen the popularity of our sport, it is imperative that Japan return to the top three nations in the world. “



Tokyo Olympics: French handball players hold their first Olympic coronation

As soon as they entered the game, you could swear that nothing was going to resist them. There is this joyful tranquility on the faces, combined with this rage to win in the looks. And finally its luxury spectators to support them from the stands of the Yoyogi Stadium: the French handball players, some with the gold medal around their necks, sing the Marseillaise at the top of their lungs to accompany them.

→ READ. Tokyo Olympics: the Blues of volleyball, finally an Olympic title in their net

On Sunday August 8, the French handball players achieved the feat against the Russians, winning the only title that was missing from their wallet: Olympic gold. Five years after a final lost in Rio against the same Russians (22-19), they dominate the game and take their revenge in Tokyo (30-25), while their Olympic tournament had started in pain.

We had a delicate, difficult course, but we were able to progress from match to match ”, comments coach Olivier Krumbholz. In groups, the Blue had lost against Spain and Russia, which they therefore found in the final. Recalled before Rio after having held this position from 1998 to 2013, Olivier Krumbholz is delighted with the balance found since: “ There is a very good complementarity between the young and the old.

As if to add suspense to a game while in control, the Blue were glued to the score at the start of the second period (16-16). Everything then has to be rebuilt. It will only take a few minutes: two goals from Océane Sercien-Ugolin pave the way for a recital, coupled with decisive stops by goalkeeper Cléopatre Darleux.

Sumptuous weekend for the Blues

Les Bleues were able to demonstrate their unity throughout the competition. ” When you see us laughing all the time, explains Béatrice Edwige. Everything is sincere. It matches perfectly between us. On the podium, goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud, one of the captains, presented the medals to each of her teammates, often in tears.

While most of the French medalists returned to France, the French handball players were the last to be able to bring the country up, 10th Sunday morning, in the medal ranking. Their victory allows them to climb to 8th place and to equal the number of titles of Rio (10).

→ READ ALSO. Tokyo Olympics: the French handball team achieves a historic Olympic treble

This performance ends a sumptuous weekend for French team sports. On Saturday, the Blues in handball and volleyball won gold, basketball players silver, and their female counterparts bronze. Now we are on course for 2024. ” The Olympics in Paris will be the competition of the century », Announces Olivier Krumbholz.



Tokyo Olympics: Frenchman Steven Da Costa, first Olympic champion in karate history

Steven Da Costa became the first male Olympic champion in the history of karate, which is on the Olympic program for the first time, on Thursday August 5th. The French won in the final of the – 67 kg category at the Tokyo Olympics tournament.

Da Costa, world number one in his category and already world champion in 2018, defeated Turkish Eray Samdan 5-0 in the final. His medal is the seventh in gold for the France team and the 26e since the start of the Games.

In women, Alexandra Feracci eliminated

Before his final, Da Costa (24) beat Kazakh Darkhan Assadilov 5-2 in the semi-final. Assadilov is world number 1 in the – 60 kg category, while Da Costa occupies the same position in – 67 kg, two categories combined at the Olympics. Samdan, the silver medalist, also usually fights in – 60 kg. Previously, the French had won three of his four fights in Pool B, where he took second place.

In women, the French Alexandra Feracci was eliminated from the group stage of the kata competition. The katas are recited and codified sequences of movements aimed at a virtual opponent. Athletes are graded on their technical performance and on the athletic aspect of their demonstration.

The competition was won by Spain’s Sandra Sanchez Jaime, who became the first Olympic champion in the history of her sport.



Luka Mkheidze, first French medal at the Tokyo Olympics

Judoka Luka Mkheidze (- 60 kg) offered France its first medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by winning bronze on Saturday, July 24, at the Nippon Budokan.

Silver medal at the European Championships

25-year-old Luka Mkheidze is competing in his first Olympic Games in Tokyo. He got his selection on the wire this year thanks to his silver medal at the European Championships in Lisbon in April.

On the way to this first Olympic medal, Luka Mkheidze first beat the very solid Spaniard Francisco Garrigos, bronze medalist at the recent World Championships in Lisbon and who had beaten him in the final of the European Championships. The French won by waza-ari in the Golden Score.

He then clearly dominated the Ukrainian Artem Lesiuk with two waza-ari worth ippon in less than two minutes of combat. In the semifinals, Mkheidze suffered the law of Taiwanese Yung Wei Yang, 11th in the world rankings and twice silver medalist at the Asian Championships.

Coming from Georgia

But he was able to re-mobilize to dominate Korean Kim Won-jin in the golden score, and win bronze.

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Mkheidze was naturalized French in 2015. He fled his country with his mother in 2009 and arrived in France in 2010.



JO-2020: first case of Covid-19 in the Olympic village

One week before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, the organizers announced on Saturday July 18 a first case of Covid-19 identified in the Olympic village, but wanted to be reassuring as to the effectiveness of the drastic measures used to curb any transmission. of the coronavirus.

Very first case recorded in the village ”

“There is a person in the village. This is the very first case recorded in the village, and which was detected on arrival ”, said Takaya Masa, spokesperson for the Organizing Committee (TOCOG) at a press conference, without specifying whether it is an athlete or a member of the management, nor from which delegation the person comes from.

Tokyo Olympics: “There will be no spectator,” announces Japan

His case brings to fifteen the number of people tested positive among the 15,000 athletes, Olympic delegations and journalists who arrived in Japan since July 1, i.e. “Very low rate” 0.1%, underlined Thomas Bach, the boss of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). According to the Japanese press, it would be a foreign person, without further details there either.

A test every day

The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for July 23 to August 8, have been postponed for a year due to the pandemic, and strict health measures have been put in place in Japan so that the planetary meeting can be held.

“This person has tested positive at the screening of the village, we do not know if he is vaccinated or not”Tokyo-2020 general manager Toshiro Muto said. “In the village, there will be severe anti-Covid measures: athletes will be tested every day, and if an athlete tests positive, he will be isolated”, he explained, wanting to be reassuring.

“Confidence is built with rigor”

“Confidence is built with rigor”, added in the afternoon Christophe Dubi, Director of Games within the IOC, recalling that the monitoring of participants in the Olympic Games was starting “Fourteen days” before their arrival in Japan.

Less than a week before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, the Japanese capital does not have the heart to celebrate this countdown, while the state of health emergency has been implemented last Monday and until August 22.

Tokyo Olympics: Clarisse Agbegnenou and Samir Aït Saïd, first mixed duo to bear the Blues

In camera trials

Almost all of the Olympic events will take place behind closed doors and the tens of thousands of participants – from athletes to officials, including journalists from abroad – are subject to drastic restrictions due to health risks.

“We are doing everything we can to prevent any further development of Covid-19. If we eventually find that there is contamination, we have a plan to respond ”, for his part assured Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organizing committee. “Athletes who come to Japan are probably very worried. This is the reason why we must be completely transparent ”, she promised. “We must prepare carefully and make sure that we all follow the procedures”, she added.

Japanese worried

These “Countermeasures” are not enough to reassure the population in Japan, as Tokyo recorded 1,410 additional cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, the highest daily total since January.

Friday, Thomas Bach, was nevertheless convinced that these Games “Would demonstrate that they can behave safely, even in the midst of a pandemic”. Anti-Covid measures “Are not only in place, he estimated. They work ”.