Nine entrants, one medal, bronze for Cédric Revol (-60 kg), on Friday at the opening of the European Championships in Sofia (Bulgaria). And for this edition of the French men’s national team that will be all, given that on this closing Sunday the four boys in the race did not cross the finish line of the round of 16. And therefore he could not qualify for the repechage for a possible bronze medal.
A reportage in line with the reality of the judo Blues these days. Furthermore, in the absence of the “Olympians”, the tricolor staff had decided to give young people a chance or to revive some of them. As in +100 kg, a category that had not been aligned by the French since 2018 in this continental match.
In the absence of Teddy Riner, in preparation for his next return to competition, Joseph Terhec (26 years old) was then selected for Sofia where he hoped to finally be able to show what he is capable of in a category (+100 kg) where chances are a lot. rare as Riner reigned supreme for fifteen years.
“We want to show that we are also capable”, Terhec promised. conceited? The boy had equally surprised Riner during the team France in October 2020. This Sunday he did not cut the course of the first round against the German Johannes Frey (7th at the 2020 Olympics), winner on penalties. “He is an opponent within my reach, whom I have already beaten. I was expecting a fight like this, I know it’s very difficult with the hands, it’s penalized at the beginning. I feel good. He accelerates, continues to pretend for a while, I remain in the perspective of wanting to penalize him and I find myself abused … It’s my fault “, confided the French, annoyed.
“Competitions like that, I mustn’t let them pass. What makes the difference between me and the great champions, however a champion
Especially since the German has made it to the final and knows that opportunities will not arise so often. “I wouldn’t have 50,000, I know it will be very, very difficult. That’s why I say professional misconduct. Maybe I put a little too much pressure on myself. But races like that, I mustn’t let her pass. What makes the difference between me and the great champions, however a champion. I think this will hurt my morale. “
Dejected also Alexis Mathieu (-90 kg) eliminated in the second round by the Greek Tselidis, quick on a shoulder movement worthy of waza-ari. “He got down on his knees very quickly, we had seen he was going to the other side in the video, so I was a little surprised he was going this way. He’s a fighter who always attacks forward. I couldn’t earn this. time in advance he had on me. I could not find the fault, the most frustrating because a fighter within my reach “, explained the 22-year-old Frenchman who was having his first experience at this level, marked by a first-round victory over Slovakian Randl (on penalties). At -100 kg, Cédric Olivar was sent off from the start (ippon) by Azerbaijani expert Gasimov (3rd at the 2017 World Cup).
Alexis Mathieu (archives) (E. Garnier / The Team)
Finally, selected at the last minute, Monday after Nicolas Chilard’s pack (-81 kg), Maxime-Gaël Ngayap-Hambou dared, tried but also failed in the second round, at -90 kg against the Romanian Cret, who had still beaten for bronze at the Junior World Championships last year. “I am very very disappointed because I had given him two waza-ari. There, losing on a waza-ari … And not being able to return to the charge leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I missed the penalty at the start of the fight. I was not focused, I took the waza-ari on the sequence in which I had to take the sleeve, while I take the backhand and that’s it … “
This is how, at 20, after beating a world champion (2019) (Dutch Van T End) at the opening, it pays to learn. “I had no stress, I told myself that I had nothing to lose, that I had come to do the company. “ Aware that with this team being rebuilt, it was not necessary to focus only on medals, the Blues staff said they also wanted to appreciate their behavior. From this point of view, the French have nothing to be ashamed of.