silver for Madeleine Malonga, fifth medalist in French judo

Madeleine Malonga’s Olympic quest could have ended abruptly in the quarterfinals. What does a medal sometimes hold? A thread, the one that Kaliema Antomarchi could have cut to prematurely break, Thursday, July 29, the dream of the 27-year-old French judoka. The Cuban was very eager to don the bounty hunter costume.

It is finally a more famous fighter, the Japanese Shori Hamada, who was in charge of obtaining the head of the world number one of – 78 kg. And to put an end in the final to the golden ambition of Malonga.

” It’s frustrating. It pisses you off when you lose ”said Madeleine Malonga after her defeat

As the coach of the French women’s team, Larbi Benboudaoud, said, the scenario is frustrating: “There was no match. It happened right away. ” And on the strong point of the Japanese, her technique on the ground, which allowed her to exploit “The little mistake” of his opponent to immobilize him. “I was there, I was ready and I was focused. Yes, it is frustrating. It pisses you off when you lose ”, dropped the Olympic vice-champion.

Like her teammate Clarisse Agbegnenou, who had to wait for her second participation in the Olympic Games, “Mado”, world champion and European champion, will therefore have to wait a while before conquering the only title missing from her record. An example to follow ? “It stimulates. Clarisse is the captain, a model. She has a big attitude and she is inspiring when you see her journey, she admitted. Afterwards, it is his life. Me is my life. I wanted to win today. “

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Madeleine Malonga will have to wait in the antechamber of the French Olympic champions. Silver medalist, she can console herself by being the fifth medalist for the French judo team at the Budokan in Tokyo.


Before this final clash, the Frenchman from the Blanc-Mesnil club (ESBM) had won four of the last six fights against Hamada, including the last (before this final) this year, in Doha. “It’s even more annoying because she’s a girl that I had beaten several times, especially in the final of my world title, she blurted out. It’s difficult because it represents a lot of years of work. It is first of all a dream that has turned into a goal. And then it’s an opportunity that may never happen again. “

Earlier in the day, after having felt the wind for the first time facing the experienced Antomarchi, only knocked down during the golden score after a fight not to be recommended for cardiacs, the judoka was not dismantled in front of the question of a few journalists: ” It was hot ? “ “No, I was ready. I’m world number one, favorite, in quotes. They all want to take me down. We can do twenty minutes of golden score. Let them come … “, she announced. The rest of the program almost proved him right.

“It’s still judo. I am not overconfident. The way ? I do not care ”assassinated the silver medalist a few hours before the final

Unlike Agbegnenou, Madeleine Malonga does not wear a helmet, nor relax to the frantic pace of Afro trap. She is a different style. You don’t need an old school trainer to motivate yourself – just like the German Claudiu Pusa, called to order for two slaps to his judoka Martyna Trajdos Tuesday, July 27 -, the slaps of motivation, she addresses them all alone. “It’s still judo. I am not overconfident. The way ? I do not care. I want the gold medal ”, she attacked, scathing, a few hours before her defeat in the final.

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His introduction confirmed the bulldozer-style state of mind. Bernadette Graf – an Austrian – collected two mows in just over a minute – the second, an uchi-mata synonymous with ippon. After the Cuban fears, the South Korean Hyunji Yoon suffered the envy of the champion and her power, disqualified after three logical penalties.

Confirmed hopes

In an interview with World three months before the Olympics, Madeline Malonga – a replacement for the 2016 Olympics – showed her determination to go for the title in Tokyo. “There are plenty of athletes who won during their first participation in the Olympics, even the only and unique ones of their careers., she hoped. I will go there as for the first time and give everything in the moment. “

The Habs have already won four medals, despite the disappointment of three defeats in the final

Her sister, Anaïs Malonga, confirms her character as a go-getter: “Mado has always been very determined. She has a strength of character that until now has always made her get what she wanted. ” This did not prevent wise family advice that could be used in view of the outcome: “Like I told him, you’re at the Olympics, you have to savor it. Whatever happens, be proud of your background and what you have accomplished. “

In the meantime, Friday July 30, the last of the seven tricolor judokas – Romane Dicko (+ 78 kg) – the French women’s team confirms all the hopes placed in her. The French have already won four medals, despite the disappointment of three defeats in the final (with those of Amandine Buchard, Sunday, and Sarah-Léonie Cysique, Monday). A living force that does not come from a magic potion but whose secret is perhaps quite simple, according to Madeleine Malonga: “The women’s team is strong because we are free, we know what we want. We are not giving up. ”

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Free and strong women who are hungry for medals. In three years in Paris, most of them will have a second chance to bring home the gold. And Madeleine Malonga intends to be part of that gang.