To hear The Marseillaise, Roxana Maracineanu had targeted team sports. Blue jersey in her name, the Minister for Sports notably attended the first Olympic title of the French volleyball team. It was Saturday August 7, on the eve of the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games. It was less than one, above all, for a French delegation in need of podiums.
All sports combined, France leaves Japan in eighth place among nations, with 33 medals (10 in gold, 12 in silver and 11 in bronze). That is 9 less than in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The harvest is roughly at the level of Germany, Italy or the Netherlands. But light years away from the great American (113), Chinese (88) or British (65) powers. Far, too, from Australia (46).
For Brigitte Henriques, it is easy to admit this table. The president of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee was not elected until June. “The results are mixed, but we must salute the very good dynamics of team sports for three days. We are going to surf on this dynamic of success ”, she argued.
By themselves, volleyball and handball have brought three titles. The other seven come mainly from judo and fencing (4 in total), which allow France to equal the ten gold medals obtained in Rio.
“Some major sports were not present”
All metals combined, the tricolor judokas brought home eight medals from Japan. One of them, in gold, will have marked the spirits: that of the mixed team event, won in the final against Japan. A great consolation for Teddy Riner, who had to settle for bronze in individual. Synonymous with the second gold medal for Clarisse Agbegnenou, also standard bearer at the opening ceremony.
The fencers confirmed their role as purveyors of rewards, adding a touch of coquetry. Of the five medals obtained, the first title came from the swashbuckler that was least expected: Romain Cannone, youngest of the team, presumed replacement.
Note also the good handling of the sail (three medals), as well as the golden summers of the shooter Jean Quiquampoix, of the rowers Matthieu Androdias and Hugo Boucheron – in duo -, or of the karateka Steven Da Costa. The latter, whose sport will disappear from the program in 2024, will also have had the honor of carrying the tricolor at the closing ceremony.
Conversely, other sports have failed. “Some major medal-winning sports, such as swimming, athletics, cycling were not present”, notes Roxana Maracineanu, herself a silver medalist in swimming, at the Sydney 2000 Games.
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