JudoInside – News – French judo team announced for Paris Grand Slam

Finally the first Grand Slam will be held in Paris. The tournament in the Accor Arena will be held in the weekend of 16-17 will be an important grade for the best talents in the world. It’s the first Grand Slam in France since the pandemic, but the French had the pleasure of the Grand Slam in 2020 just before the pandemic had a real outbreak and everyone thought we would have the Olympic Games in 2020.

Last year’s Paris tournament was a spectacular edition with the loss of Teddy Riner and victories for the later Olympic Champions Distria Krasniqi (KOS) and home player Clarisse Agbegnenou who caught he sixth victory in Paris.

This edition will be different and it will give space to the young athletes and those who are ambitious to win the mini World Championships as the Paris tournament is called. I wouldn’t take too much risk as the bookmakers will have a hard one on this to guess the top three of the Paris Tournament. So we will give you the best Bookmakersreview Submission of Intertops of the most important judo tournament after the Olympics Games since the Tokyo Grand Slam won’t be offered.

Judo’s absolute queen Clarisse Agbegnenou has won two gold medals as only athlete in judo. She claimed the individual title and captured the surprising team title victory against Japan by winning against the U70kg Olympic Champion being a few kilos lighter, it says enough about Clarisse who is enjoying a well deserved vacation. She has various projects and lately she announced to have a goal to give attention to parents of unborn children like herself, also she is a role model as part of the French Gendarmery a branch of the military, policing rural and semi-rural areas where she wants to give more attention to the gender equality.

Three French Tokyo medalliists

Agbegnenou is obviously not selected for the Grand Slam, but one month before the big event the director of high performance Larbi Benboudaoud announced the athletes on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Parisian tournament. Soe of the great names are lightweight Shirine Boukli who disappointed at the Olympic Games but definitely is a title candidate for the gold medal in the 2024 Olympic city. Also Tokyo gold medallists Guillaume Chaine (U73kg) and Alexandre Iddir (U100kg) are part of the team and all medallists in the team were welcomed by French President Macron for an official  ceremony.

Let’s zoom in to the French team where the first name is the Junior European Champion of last week Romain Valadier Picard. Despite the title still a rookie who can smell the fantastic atmosphere in Paris, but likely without too many spectators which will be limited. Jolan Florimont is a logical second one. You may miss the name of Olympian Walide Khyar in the field with his spectacular judo, but he is now competing U66kg, so we will see him in action anyway. He will be the eye catcher on the French side U66kg. Guillaume Chaine is still greedy with his 34 years and still wants to enjoy judo after the Olympic success of the team. Individually he will have to perform well to reach the podium. One week later, Guillaume will turn 35 and we don’t think he will make it to Paris in three years’ time. Still he will be popular in October when he enters the tatami.

This year’s judo will be different

Alpha Oumar Djalo is the new star under 81kg and perhaps he can do a wonderful stunt in this competitive category. Without Axel Clerget U90kg but Aurelien Diesse might be able to make it to the top 8 in Paris in this weight division. Of course Alex Iddir is the man U100kg in Paris. He contributed to the team effort and the FLAM 91 athlete should be able to go for a medal but so far he never medalled in Paris. We don’t expect the biggest and toughest field this year in Paris so this may be a good chance for 30-year old. Cyrille Maret medalled six times in Paris and is the man +100kg without Olympic team champion Teddy Riner. Maret won the tournament three times.

More spectacular will be the women’s division with powerful French women at the starting grid with both Boukli and Melanie Clement who will be eager to show her best after missing the Olympic Games. Astride Gneto could win a medal U52kg and rookie Faiza Mokdar is a talent to look out for. Without Tokyo’s silver medal winner Amandine Buchard the hopes are on the alternatives. Also Olympic silver medallist Sarah Cysique is absent in the category U57kg there are options for Mokdar and more likely Priscilla Gneto. Both sisters at the start. Gneto won Olympic bronze in 2020 in London.

Marie-Eve Gahie would want to shine

Agbegnenou’s weight division U63kg is rather weak without her. We know the names, but we don’t expect medals for the French this time. Marie-Eve Gahie missed the chance to be part of the Magic golden team in Tokyo or win an individual medal where Margaux Pinot completely missed that boat in the individual tournament. Gahie will be out for a gold medal U70kg and show the world she still counts. Same for Audrey Tcheumeo who wasn’t selected but still trains like a mad man and is always among the favourites no matter her respectable age of just 31. Heavyweights Anne M’Bairo, Julia Tolofua and perhaps European Junior Champion lea Fontaine might win a medal but the dominance of Romane Dicko will be missed at the heavyweight category.

We expect to see new names in the international circuit and perhaps some athletes we have had the opportunity to see their form at the Grand Prix in Zagreb to be held end of September.