Olympic Games: Onesta plan to glean more medals in Paris

For weeks, we could feel the pot boiling on the side of the high performance cell and its director Claude Onesta. Present on all fields in Tokyo, the former boss of the French multi-medal handball team, returned from Japan disappointed by the overall performance of French athletes. “We lacked perspective on the level of our athletes because the pandemic had stopped competitions around the world and disrupted training. We hoped to be at least at the level of Rio in 2016 and we are far below “, he observes.

→ ANALYSIS. Tokyo Olympics: for the Blues, the account is not so good

The Blues brought back only 33 medals, against 42 in Rio, and the extraordinary performance of team sports, such as the good results of judo and fencing, did not mask some severe accidents, in athletics and swimming. particularly. These two disciplines are particularly targeted by the plan of attack developed, Tuesday, October 5, by Claude Onesta, in the presence of the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu. They represent a major stake, giving alone more than 250 medals, that is to say nearly a quarter of the rewards distributed during an Olympiad.

Generalization of the high performance unit in federations

These federations and a few others will therefore be the subject of specific support and their management will henceforth be remote-controlled by the ministry and the performance unit headed by Claude Onesta. This violation of the rule of independence of federations is clearly supported by its supervising minister. Which is engaged in the recruitment of a new national technical director for athletics and a performance director, after the defection of the former cyclist Florian Rousseau who threw in the towel after Tokyo.

These two functions – development of mass practice and high-level supervision – today united under the hat of the national technical director, will be systematically duplicated. “This DTN function has become too broad, sometimes those who occupy these positions have never experienced a high level, so each federation must have its own high performance unit, which will work with us”, clarifies Claude Onesta.

Develop the culture of winning

For the former handball player, one of the great problems of French sport is the isolation of athletes with their personal trainer. “75% of athletes are not hosted in state centers, such as Insep and Creps (1). We must send personnel to these structures so that these technicians, often valuable, adhere to the methods allowing their athletes not only to perform well, but also to sublimate themselves on the day of the Olympic final ”, he explains.

→ OUR FILE OG 2024, the Olympic Games in France

This culture of winning, commonplace in Anglo-Saxon or Asian countries, is due to a multitude of details allowing, according to him, an athlete to be relaxed and confident when setting off. “It is not only a question of acting on the psychological level, but of progressing in all the fields, technical, physical, material, which constitute the performance. This is what I call the marginal gains theory, which allows the athlete to be sure that he is going to walk on water on D-Day, because if he does not have the assurance that everything has been done at best, it does not move forward. “

Concretely, the coaches will be better supported, including financially. “We ask guys paid 2,000 to 3,000 € to have an influence on a global competition while being available and sometimes away from home every weekend, it does not work”, he explains. Adding that many renowned French coaches, left to exercise their talents abroad for financial reasons, are being recalled.

Athletes too scattered over the territory

The geographic isolation of athletes also distances them from technical and medical resource centers. Performance houses, sort of regional correspondents for the cell headed by Claude Onesta, will therefore be set up. And the former boss of handball, used to dealing with professional athletes, also relies a lot on the goodwill of team sports clubs, used to managing their players’ problems in a few hours.

Large football and rugby clubs, such as Clermont, have been approached to provide physiotherapists, doctors, and even financial advice. “The first contacts are enthusiastic, because they are happy to help the Olympic movement. This will allow their players to socialize with other athletes and they will be able to communicate about their actions. In fact, everyone wins ”, he continues. Likewise, everyone has an interest in the France team being as efficient as possible in 2024.


Foundation stone for the Arena-Porte de la Chapelle

Anne Hidalgo laid the first stone of the “Arena-Porte de la Chapelle” on Tuesday, October 5, the only construction in Paris ahead of the 2024 Games. The intermediate level sports infrastructure (8,000 places) must accommodate during the Games badminton and rhythmic gymnastics, then para-badminton, para-taekwondo and para-weightlifting competitions. The hall must be delivered in 2023, and outside the Games, host Paris Basketball as a resident club from September 2023. It must also host shows, concerts, conferences, and meet the needs of the inhabitants of the district with the creation of two gymnasiums.



Volleyball can finally capitalize on the Olympic effect

Barely time to breathe and here they are, putting their very recent supremacy back into play. The Blues of volleyball hung gold around their necks in Tokyo, but impossible to fall asleep on these Olympic laurels: since last week, they are on the track for the European title. For now, after three first games, the Blues live up to their brand new reputation. May the great adventure continue is all that France hopes for from volleyball. In the clubs, we are betting on the famous “Olympic effect” which basketball and handball have already benefited from in the past.

“The feedback that has come to us from the field over the past two weeks shows a strong increase in applications for licenses among young people, rejoices Éric Tanguy, the president of the French Volleyball Federation. Even the multisport federations that offer volleyball feel a new craze for the discipline. “

President of the Rhône committee and in charge of development at the FFVolley, Michelle Akilian applauds this new impetus, but also knows that long-term work is ahead: “After a good Games, attracting kids, everyone knows how to do it, explains the leader. But it’s more difficult to keep them afterwards. “

A very unique context

This is what is at stake for a federation confronted for the first time with this “Happiness to be champion” evoked with a huge smile Jérôme Heilmann, president for seven years for the destinies of ASVB Yutz-Thionville, Moselle training club. “The Olympics effect is especially important in terms of image: the performance of the France team is finally obvious. Afterwards, on the reception of the licensees, it will be necessary to be good, because this year, we are not the only ones to have triumphed at the Games. “

→ ANALYSIS. At the Tokyo Olympics, France shines as a collective

The success of almost all team sports in Tokyo, “It is also a risk of scrambling to obtain time slots in the gymnasiums”, emphasizes Michelle Akilian. All in a very specific context: the prospect of Paris 2024 pushes to increase development actions, but the health crisis can slow down the enthusiasm. From September 30, young people over 12 years old must present the health pass to practice in a club.

“The subject is more the management of controls than a risk of seeing many licensees escape us because of this requirement,” nuance Valentin Delalande, president of Cholet Volley resulting last July from the merger of two former local clubs. Moreover, for most parents, this health pass is even rather reassuring, ensuring a less risky practice. So we adapt. This is one of the lessons of this Covid period: it forces us to change, to think about new practices. Our decision to merge has been accelerated, and we hope to increase from 130 to 250 redundants in the next five years. “

Multiply innovative practices

In the clubs, which on average lost 20% of their troops with the health crisis, the Olympic form of volleyball is the perfect opportunity to bounce back. “We try a lot of things, for example with us a project to welcome children from 18 months, highlights Jérôme Heilmann. This helps develop motor skills, and maybe tackle volleyball lessons from 8 years old rather than waiting 12 or 13 years like today and involving parents who can become volunteers or future leaders. “

Paris 2024 also requires increasing numbers to be on time. The FFVolley is therefore struggling to develop sitting volleyball. A challenge, because the ministerial delegation did not fall until 2017, the Handisport Federation previously managing the case. “We started from zero, and it is quite difficult to find athletes, especially among women, to present competitive teams in 2024”, recognizes Éric Tanguy.

→ INVESTIGATION. Volleyball seeks a new economic model

The clubs, in any case, are mobilized on all floors. Example in the Toulouse suburbs, at the Grenade Volley Ball, 130 licensees. Educator Laurent Cassi is pushing seated volleyball by betting on the promotion provided by broadcasts during the Paralympics. “The practice can be mixed, with able-bodied, and it’s great, assures the technician. It is on this diversity that we must bet. Also with the beach, in vogue, because the Covid pushes us to rediscover the outdoors. Or fit volleyball, a mixture of games and muscle and cardiac strengthening exercises to gently resume a sporting activity. We can do anything under the net. “


A Euro well underway

Appetite comes with eating ? The France team has eaten this Olympic gold that it has been waiting for so long, but which is not enough to satiate it. The desire to devour everything is there for this Euro 2021 started by the Blues on September 3, and which for the moment confirms the conquering momentum.

The men of the new Brazilian coach Bernardinho – who won everything with the national women’s and men’s teams in his country – made short work of the start of Slovakia (3-0), then continued the banquet against Croatia (3-0). Facing Germany, Monday, September 6, the Blues had to work to beat the toughest opponent in their group (3-1). But they can calmly consider their qualification in the round of 16 (from September 11) before ending the knockout phase against Latvia, this Wednesday, September 8, and Estonia the next day.



Tokyo Olympics: French foilists Olympic champions

They gave the Blues their fifth gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The French foilists won the Olympic title against the Russians competing under the neutral flag (45-28), Sunday 1er August in Chiba.

The French, finalists in Rio against the Russians, thus won their first men’s foil title since Sydney-2000. This is the 21e French medal in Tokyo.

In the final, Enzo Lefort, 2019 world champion, and Erwann le Pechoux, both silver medalists at Rio-2016, as well as Julien Mertine, did not have much trouble to dominate (45-28) the twin brothers Anton and Kirill Borodachev (21), until then only titled in the juniors, supported by Timur Safin, who was already part of the Russian Olympic champion team in Rio.

Revenge on Rio

Without really trembling, despite a few more laborious stints, the Blues, who had lost in Rio after dominating a good part of the match, took their revenge. With five medals, including two titles (boys in foil and Romain Cannone in épée), French fencing in Tokyo is doing better than in Rio-2016 (3 medals, including one title).

→ REPORT. Tokyo Olympics: French foilists get silver medal

Manon Brunet won bronze in saber on Monday, foilists Ysaora Thibus, Pauline Ranvier, Astrid Guyart and Anita Blaze brought in silver from Tokyo on Thursday, as did sabers Manon Brunet, Cécilia Berder, Sara Balzer and Charlotte Lembach, Saturday.



Tokyo Olympics: Yohann Diniz bows out on the last Olympic 50 km

The walker Yohann Diniz will engage this Thursday around 10 p.m. (French time) on the Sapporo circuit, in the Japanese mountains for the last competition of his life (1). At 43, the 2017 world champion will participate without pressure in his fourth Olympic Games, four years after his failure in the 50 km of which he was favorite. “I have nothing more to lose or to prove, I am happy to participate, these are my last Games, it would be a shame not to have fun, for the result we will see”, declares the future retiree.

→ READ. World athletics, Yohann Diniz, the gold medal for courage

He prepared for weeks in Portugal to face the main enemies of all the walkers or marathoners involved in these Games: the heat and the humidity. “I trained for 70 days in a thermal chamber, but I think everyone else has done it, everyone knows it’s their last chance to win a medal, we have no idea what’s going to happen. There is a lot of randomness in this discipline, it will take luck, maybe for once it will smile on me, or not ”, declares the champion, both relaxed and… angry.

Too masculine a distance

Threatening for years, the ax fell in December 2020 on the 50 km walk, which will live in Sapporo its last steps. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the discontinuation of the specialty, one of the few in Olympism with only one men’s event, unlike the 20 km which has its female version. Included in the program of the world championships since 2017, the women’s 50 km did not make many emulators and it suffered in 2019 from the catastrophic image of the Doha Worlds.

“We did not give the girls time to develop in this sport and we cut the rug from under the feet of those who had started it, I find that the argument of diversity does not hold”, supports the champion. However, it is this aspect that is highlighted by the IOC. “The objective is to achieve parity for the first time in the history of Olympic athletics, but without exceeding the overall quota of athletes”, Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director, said in the December announcement.

Without the format being specified yet, it is likely that Paris 2024 will maintain the two 20 km events, one for men and the other for women. But will inaugurate a long distance (we are talking about 35 km) with a requirement of diversity, perhaps in the form of a mixed relay as in cross-country skiing. Forced to further reduce the number of athletes in order to limit costs – despite the increase in the number of sports and the creation of mixed events in many disciplines – the IOC made a decision.

Doping cases

Deemed too long (around 3:30 am) by the televisions and sending back an unfavorable image for the athletes with this famous sway, the 50 km bore the brunt of the operation. In addition, live failures, with men staggering on the asphalt before collapsing, are devastating for a discipline considered inhuman and which suffers from a sulphurous reputation.

In fact, it is one of the most involved in doping scandals in recent years. Quite a few Russian marchers have been caught up in the affairs that led to Russia’s suspension, including 2012 Olympic 50km champion Sergey Kirdyapkin. As for the Italian Alex Schwazer, Olympic champion in Beijing in 2008, he was then suspended for eight years for doping. After serving his sentence, he hoped to try his luck again in Tokyo, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the supreme body of sports justice, objected.



Olympic Games: goodbye Tokyo, hello Paris 2024!

On the Japanese night, the closing was nostalgic, Sunday August 8, with the handover ceremony between two women, the governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo – a first in Olympic history.

It was festive 9,800 km to the west, at the beginning of the afternoon in Paris, with this famous banner of half a hectare deployed on the Eiffel Tower shivering as the patrouille de France passed. Quite a symbol, which will find its practical variation Monday 9, around 2 p.m. at Roissy, when the door of the plane bringing back Anne Hidalgo and the flag will open.

A new story will then begin, 1,082 days before the lighting of a new cauldron in the French capital, on July 26, 2024. It has been written line after line since September 13, 2017, the day of the attribution of the thirtieth Games , one hundred years after the seventh also organized in Paris in 1924.

Since then, the main people responsible for the file, the president of the organizing committee Tony Estanguet, Anne Hidalgo and Jean Castex, government coordinator of Paris 2024 before being appointed to Matignon, have crumpled up a lot of drafts. Under the sponsorship of Emmanuel Macron who collected the Olympic laurels planted by his predecessor François Hollande.

Opening ceremony on the banks of the Seine

Present in Tokyo during the first two days of the Games, the Head of State has eaten the secrecy instructions on one of the most anticipated files of Paris-2024, the site of the opening ceremony which will not take place at Stade de France for a few tens of thousands of privileged ticket holders, but in the heart of the city, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

The place is not stopped ”, assured Tony Estanguet to The cross, in a declaration intended to spare the susceptibility of the Olympic authorities, who will have to validate the project in December 2021. But the decision is taken; Anne Hidalgo has also reconfirmed Sunday 8 in The team.

→ ANALYSIS. Tokyo Olympics: for the Blues, the account is not so good

Once the flame is lit, all eyes will be on … the Concorde, where some of the most anticipated competitions of the 32 disciplines on the program will be held: skateboarding, 3 × 3 basketball, integrated in Tokyo and maintained in Paris, but also breaking, a new sport resulting from urban culture, which will make its entry into the Parisian program. These disciplines are supposed to bring young people back to a ring party that they had neglected for the past two decades.

“It’s strategic for the future. The younger generations want to see sports that are like them, with short and spectacular competitions that they can follow on their smartphone. The IOC understood this well and Paris 2024 too ”, underlines Kevin Bernardi, owner of the Sport & Society site, at the forefront of the sociology of sport.

Equipment for Seine Saint-Denis

Celebrated in Tokyo, the marriage of tradition and modernity will therefore be confirmed in Paris. “The magic of the Games is based on this diversity of events and these sports bring something new”, Tony Estanguet told us in Tokyo, just after visiting the climbing site, a sport which, in 2024, will not be presented at Concorde but at Le Bourget. In fact, the Paris Games will not only be those of the beautiful neighborhoods and historic sites of the City of Light or its region.

Their hearts will beat widely in Seine-Saint-Denis. In addition to the climbing wall, the “93” will host two of the main facilities designed for the Games, which will remain there as a legacy: the Olympic village and the Aubervilliers swimming pool (the department did not have a 50 m Olympic pool).

→ READ. Seine-Saint-Denis still hopes to benefit from the 2024 Olympics

The Arena, a new hall built at Porte de la Chapelle, will link the popular north of Paris so far without large sports (and show) venues and Seine-Saint-Denis. “On the construction side, that’s about all”, explains Tony Estanguet, satisfied that this architectural moderation serves a 2024 carbon footprint more favorable than that of Tokyo or the previous Games.

If Anne Hidalgo adheres to this ecological objective, she also underlines the benefits of the Games for employment. “Thousands of workers have already worked on the sites, they will be nearly 10,000 in the fall, 150,000 direct jobs will be mobilized for the organization of the Games in tourism, catering and security”, underlines the elected.

Paris 2024 twice cheaper than Tokyo

On the budgetary level, Paris is doomed to do better than London, Rio or Tokyo. It will not be difficult, because the 13 billion euros from Tokyo, increased by 2 billion additional costs linked to the pandemic, have appeared as a scarecrow with the Court of Auditors, which has again tightened the screws of Paris 2024. The Organizing Committee’s financiers were recently summoned to find an additional 400 million euros, which has led to a new version of the site map – which, this time, seems final.

Unless a new tile is still possible in terms of health or safety, Paris 2024 should remain in an envelope twice as light as Tokyo. We are counting on 7.3 billion euros, of which 3.4 billion (1) invested in long-lasting equipment such as the swimming pool, or the Olympic village recycled into housing after 2024.

The other part, 3.9 billion euros of private operating budget, comes from TV rights, ticketing, an endowment from the IOC. And sponsors, more and more numerous to come to the counter as the deadline approaches, history, as for Decathlon (last partner to date to be committed), to participate in the celebration.

“We saw it clearly in Tokyo, despite the pandemic, the risks linked to the postponement, the unpopularity at the beginning, the Games are ending well, as always or almost, concludes Tony Estanguet, we will still have problems, but what matters is partying and sport, our legacy will be to leave France a little sportier and it needs it. “

First small step from the start of the September 2021 school year, with the gradual entry into force, under the impetus of Paris 2024, of thirty minutes of compulsory physical exercise in primary schools to fight against children’s sedentary lifestyle.



The stopwatch, true master of the Olympic Games

For swimmer Michael Phelps, the most successful athlete in history with 23 Olympic titles over four editions, between 2004 and 2016, time is of course money, since he is under contract with Omega, the timekeeper. official of the Olympic Games. But above all, he’s a golden friend. “The stopwatch has always been my best friend, in 2008 I won the 100m final for a hundredth of a second”, exclaims the American.

→ MAINTENANCE. Anti-doping fight: “When we see exceptional performances, we place the athletes on our radars”

What would have happened if the technology of the time had been calibrated in thousandths of a second like in other sports? “It’s a good question, but it does not arise in swimming where it is more a subject of public works”, notes Alain Zobrist, the big boss of Omega’s sports division, who explains: “It would be pointless to measure the time with more precision when swimming pool builders cannot guarantee a perfectly flat surface of the finish wall, and therefore a strictly identical length of 50 m for each water line. “

Swimming to the hundredth, cycling to the thousandth of a second

Swimming being a sport where the speeds are relatively slow compared to cycling or sprinting in athletics, the hundredth is considered sufficient, while the most efficient machines are able to go much further in precision. Moreover, the time measured at the Olympics is an excellent mirror of the technology of an era. Electronics made its debut in the London stadium in 1948 and it was in London, again in 2012, that we have potentially gone down to one millionth.

Mexico City had invented the electronic board stopping the chronometer at the touch of the swimmer and Montreal 1976 introduced the technology justifying to it the enormous Olympic investment of the Swiss watchmaker: the live time chart, with the name of the company well in sight. It is moreover the only sponsor whose name appears permanently in the playing area, invaluable counterpart of a financial contract with the secret amount.

Indiscreet witness to performance

Technology is no longer limited to the sole measurement of time because the master of Olympic seconds and his competitors in other sporting events, provide the organization, the viewer and the athlete as well as his coaches with hundreds of data: acceleration, average speed, body position. All thanks to chips slipped into the bibs and automatic cameras distributed over the courses.

→ READ. Olympic Games: why the best in the world are not always there

In some disciplines, we are able to measure energy expenditure, the number of passes (successful or missed), individual slowdowns weighing on the collective performance in relay. Suddenly, the stopwatch is sometimes a snitch, fortunately strictly confined to biomechanical data. Without touching so far to the medical, hormonal, nutritive or cognitive state of the sportsmen, even to its DNA data.

Marie-José Pérec, victim of the dictatorship of time

“We will not do anything against the advice of the athletes”, assures Alain Zobrist, aware of the ethical problem. If his personal good faith is not in question, abuses will be inevitable in the long term. This is in any case the opinion of the novelist Paul-Henry Bizon, who published in the spring a novel Olympia (Éd Gallimard) devoted to the dictatorship of time and performance. With as main character Marie-José Pérec, triple gold medalist in Barcelona and Atlanta, before fleeing during the Sydney Games in 2000.

In her novel, the runner is hired twenty years after the Australian episode for an advertising campaign by the Games timekeeper, a company called Alpha, a transparent allusion to the official Olympic timekeeper. “I wrote this book because the athlete, like the human being in general is today a prisoner of an acceleration of time, says the author, sport measured solely in performance is a form of dead end dictatorship which makes athletes suffer, the important thing is beauty, grace, love of the beautiful perfect gesture, not a fraction of a second more or less ” .

This analysis seems to leave ice the big boss of Omega, who says not to have read the novel. “Our job is not to push for acceleration, but to measure fair and equitable time for all”, explains Alain Zobrist, not really worried about the future of his company under contract with the IOC until 2032. That is to say a century just after his arrival in the Olympic stadium, during the first Los Angeles Games in 1932.



Tokyo Olympics: the French handball team achieves a historic Olympic treble

The Blues have their revenge. Five after their defeat in Rio, the French team beat Denmark on Saturday August 7 in the final of the Tokyo Olympic Games, at the Yoyogi National Stadium.

The band trained by Guillaume Gille signs an unprecedented performance in the discipline by winning its third gold medal after those of Beijing (2008) and London (2012). The opportunity was therefore missed in 2016 in Rio, in the final against the same Danes. It is also the crowning of individual careers: Nikola Karabatic, Luc Abolo and Michaël Guigou now have three gold medals to their list.

Basketball, the Blue pocket the bronze in Tokyo

After a sluggish start to the first period during which each side was faced with a very strong defensive block, the Blues were able to unlock the counter and finish the first period with a 4 point lead. They began to tremble in the second half when, after the temporary exclusion of Luc Abalo and Dika Mem, the Danes glued back to one goal away. The giant Danish leader Mikkel Hansen (1.96 m), author of 9 goals, gave a hard time to the French defense but the Blues, without ever failing, won 25 to 23.

Anne Hidalgo and the Danish clan

In this stadium located in the heart of the Shibuya district, the French played under the watchful eye of the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who is due to receive the Olympic flag during the handover ceremony on Sunday, three years before the Paris Games.

Tokyo Olympics: French basketball players fail to overthrow the American mountain

The Danes had a whole clan behind them: around fifty people from the delegation unfurled a large flag and applauded their players as one man with each favorable action. French side, more timid ” Go the Blues Arose from the stands. More than a hundred Games volunteers were able to attend the final.

The return after the “crisis”

The match was the revenge of that of August 21, 2016, in the Rio Olympics final. The “ Experts Blues were the arch-dominators of the circuit and the Danes the outsiders. France had fallen from a height, prevented from achieving its Olympic treble (28-26). The trajectories had since reversed.

Tokyo Olympics: in search of new challenges, French coaches export their know-how

While Denmark was establishing its legitimacy by winning the last two world championships (2019 and 2021), France was going through a difficult period: third in 2019, then eliminated in the preliminary round of Euro 2020, a failure which cost its place in coach Didier Dinart, replaced by Guillaume Gille in January 2020.

The last two years were complex, confirmed Philippe Bana, president of the French handball federation, before the final. There was a crisis, the change of coach, a new staff. It’s been a kind of reconstruction for a year and a half.

The success of team sports

They are not the only French to have shone at the end of the Games in Tokyo. This last weekend is particularly busy for French team sports.Earlier in the day on Saturday, the French basketball players won the silver medal, stumbling in the final against the “ Mountain American. Their female counterparts won bronze by beating Serbia. Unexpected at this stage of the competition, the French volleyball players faced the Russians in the final on Saturday.

At the Tokyo Olympics, France shines as a collective

Sunday at 8 am (French time), the handball players also have an appointment with history. Their very first Olympic title reaches out to them. For that, it will be necessary to defeat Russia, against whom they had bowed in Rio in 2016. Here too, it is a story of revenge.



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.



Tokyo Olympics: skater Sky Brown, the intrepid force of youth

It’s not the Youth Olympic Games, but on the Olympic skatepark where the daredevils will follow one another this Wednesday August 4 (at dawn in France), it’s just like. Especially among these young ladies afraid of nothing, with a certified ambassador a certain Sky Brown, superstar of the discipline at barely 13 years old, and who defends the colors of Her Majesty.

A choice dictated by the nationality of her father Stuart, but the girl blurs the borders, born in Japan, the country of her mother Miko, and residing most of her time in the United States. United Colors of Sky Brown in short, thoroughly in the times, lively on the track and obviously on social networks. It will undoubtedly reach more than a million followers on Instagram if she’s hanging a medal around her neck.

→ ANALYSIS. New boom for rollerblading and skateboarding

Everyone is waiting for him on the podium, at least, and at the top, instead. She laughs and displays an absence of pressure well of her age. Why bother, after all. She has come a long way. From a training session that turns into drama in May 2020, between two ramps in California. She flies away, performs a alley-oop fairly classic front, but loses its bearings and on reception, crashes. Truly. Left arm broken, fingers of right hand the same, belly lacerated, face swollen.

“We need more girls on the skateparks”

Here she is in intensive care. Parents at his bedside. But the teenager quickly regains color. Post necessarily news, video of his stunt in support. Her parents wonder about this staging, but she finds it natural. “She is lucky to be alive”, punctuates his father who is worried about his return to the board. Wrongly. Fifteen days after the accident, things are going well.

She always wants to push her limits, to dare harder figures. “I am the little one who does things big”, she blurted out. The meaning of the formula. And a small side girl power in addition to encourage the girls to venture more on the skateparks. “I’m starting to see some, but more is needed”, she emphasizes. Inspiring, she hopes to be. Skateboarding legend American Tony Hawk already sees her as one of the best in the discipline, men and women alike.



Tokyo Olympics: Jean Quiquampoix wins gold

Jean Quiquampoix was crowned Olympic champion in the 25m rapid fire pistol at the Tokyo Games on Monday August 2, five years after his silver medal in Rio, giving France its 22e medal at these Games, and the 6e Golden. The Frenchman beat Cuban Leuris Pupo in the final.

The elite of the discipline were united in this final, which notably opposed Quiquampoix to the German Christian Reitz (reigning Olympic champion and first in the world rankings), to Pupo (2012 Olympic champion) and to the Chinese Yuehong Li (3e in 2016). Yuehong Li finished 3 againe while Reitz finished him 5e.

Learned to self-control

Quiquampoix, who was only 20 years old at the previous Olympics, has relentlessly stepped up since his Rio silver medal. Known for his Olympian calm in the face of the pressure of the finals, the Frenchman has since accumulated years, experience and gold, finishing first in the last two international meetings before Tokyo, which were held in Croatia in June.

His comrade Clément Bessaguet, for whom it was the first Olympic participation, was never far away, 3e at the European Championships and 4e at the World Cup. On Sunday, he finished 1st at the end of the first part of qualifying, before being finally eliminated by finishing 7the of the preliminary phase because of the last two sets of failed shots.

→ READ. These biathletes who shoot blind

This is the first medal of these Games for French shooting, not yet rewarded so far despite the qualification of four French people for three finals since the start of the competition (Océanne Muller in a 10m rifle, Mathilde Lamolle and Céline Goberville in pistol at 10 m, Éric Delaunay in skeet).