For the last nine years, France has not won the medal table at the home Grand Slam in Paris. At the end, always the Japanese Team was number one, winning lots of titles and medals. It’s the 49th edition this year of the most prestigious judo tournament. Frédérique JOSSINET, Vice President of France Judo, 4-times winner of the tournament, has lots of good memories about the Grand Slam in Paris.
I love the tournament, I love Accor Arena and I love the French spectators. As an athlete it was my golden rule: When I won in Paris, my whole year was great. I used the energy from the home tournament for the whole year. It was kind of a boost for my self confidence. It’s great to see, that Pandemic times are over – and the 12.000 spectators are back. It is such a great atmosphere. Especially, when the Marseillaise is played for a French victory.
Vice-President Jossinet, responsible for high-performance at French Judo Federation, has quite high hopes for this year’s Grand Slam.
Even though we have a couple of injuries in the women’s team, like Sara Leonie CYSIQUE and Madeleine MALONGA, I expect at least three gold medals from them like last year. It will be interesting to see how the young girls, two of them are only 18 years old are performing, they have lots of talent.
The men’s team – except three-times Olympic champion Teddy RINER, going for his 6th title in front of the home crowd – is a bit of a different story.
Baptiste LEROY became the new head coach after the World Championships in Tashkent. It was necessary to take an action. And after a few months with the team, I can say: Everyone is happy, the athletes are, we as officials are. And the new head coach Baptiste Leroy is happy too. We only have 18 months remaining until the Olympic Games. Paris 2024 that is the ultimate goal for us.”
What can be expected from the men’s team at the Grand-Slam?
At least one gold medal and something like 4, 5 medals in total. This would help in the preparation for the World Championships in Doha in May.
Author: EJU Media