The level of French judo is so high that winning your place for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is anything but a formality. The French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) announced on Friday November 24 the names of ten athletes selected for the Games. Among them are Clarisse Agbégnénou (in the − 63 kg category), reigning Olympic champion, and Teddy Riner (100 kg), gold medalist in 2012 and 2016.

Agbégnénou will try to get a second gold medal in Paris, at the Arena Champs de Mars (ephemeral Grand Palais), after his triumph in Tokyo. “I feel a lot of emotions [but] I will wait until this evening and this weekend to be able to celebrate this selection with my family,” reacted Agbégnénou, who became world champion again in May, in Qatar, after giving birth to a little girl less than a year ago. During the recent European Championships in Montpellier, the Frenchwoman was, on the other hand, eliminated in the quarter-finals.

“These are my fifth Olympic Games, it’s a great source of pride because we often tend to bury you, but I always show up,” Riner reacted after his selection was made official. I am very happy to be selected, now, going to the Olympics is not just about showing off, it is about performing and bringing home the most beautiful medals. » Awarded bronze in 2021 in Tokyo, Riner will aim for a third individual coronation in Paris after those in London and Rio.

The main failures

The other eight selected announced Friday by the CNOSF are: on the women’s side, Shirine Boukli (− 48 kg), Amandine Buchard (− 52 kg), Sarah-Léonie Cysique (− 57 kg), Marie-Eve Gahié (− 70 kg ) and Romane Dicko ( 78 kg); and, on the men’s side, Luka Mkheidze (− 60 kg), Walide Khyar (− 66 kg) and Alpha Djalo (− 81 kg). Four categories still remain to be awarded, one for women and three for men.

The main failures are Julia Tolofua (78 kg), silver medalist at the last Worlds, Margaux Pinot (− 70 kg), Olympic team champion in 2021, and, to a lesser extent, Blandine Pont (− 48 kg), number 3 worldwide in its category.

This announcement comes eight months before the start of the Olympic Games, the French Judo Federation (FFJDA) having followed, in part, the recommendations of the National Sports Agency. “It was essential to announce those selected for the Games as soon as possible to put the athletes in the best conditions so that they can prepare calmly and effectively for this deadline,” declared Frédérique Jossinet, high level manager within the FFJDA. The list will be completed no later than May 10, she said.