We will only be able to draw conclusions from these Junior World Championships in a few days, but we can already say that the France team will be observed in a consistent manner after the very good results of the last Olympic Games in Tokyo. In Olbia, the tricolor judoka could still be at the center of the discussions. We met Amina Abdellatif, European medalist and Olympian, as well as Yacine Douma, European champion, both now coaches in the French junior team. They explained to us what they expected from the competition.
Yacine and Amina agree on one point: âWe have a great junior teamâ and this is perhaps the most important, points out Amina, âWe don’t want a group, we are building a team, because although we working in an individual sport, each individual is empowered by the power of the team. “
It is certain that for years, the France team has proven that it is capable of transcending itself in great moments, as was the case this summer in Tokyo. While everything indicated that Japan would win mixed team gold, it was the judoka led by Clarisse Agbegnenou and Teddy Riner who took home the coveted medal.
âDuring the last European junior championships, organized in Luxembourg, it worked well for our athletes, both for men and women. For the boys, I’m still a little worried. of our competitors did not live up to our expectations, but it is a very good overall result.
Everything is possible here in Italy “, explains Yacine Douma.” It is a formidable springboard for the Paris Games in 2024 and those of Los Angeles four years later. All these boys are training hard. Sometimes they are still a little tender, need to gain experience at the highest level and that is why these championships are so important. “
For Amina Abdellatif the observation is identical: âIn Olbia we expect medals of course but above all we want commitment and the desire to win. If it works, it will be a great reward for all the work undertaken over the past three years. by working with these athletes a few years ago and little by little, we are building the future of the France team. We have real hopes. The team is made up of girls who have strength and experience and for whom it is the last competition of this age Many of them are already on the Senior World Judo Tour and have good results there but we we also have young recruits. Everyone brings their experience and skills and this enriches everyone. “
Amina Abdellatif follows the first matches of the World Junior Championships
That being said, the France team holds the line to win the mixed team title at the end of the weekend: âWe dream of this title for our judokas. They deserve it and have the potential to be able to emulate their elders. we win the world title on Sunday, it will be a first for French judo in this age category but it is a championship and it is not the same as a tournament and especially during team competitions; we know anything can happen, âsays Yacine.
“We are of course still surfing on the euphoria of the Tokyo Games and the good results of the European Junior Championships and that is a positive point but we must focus on the future because the future begins today” , concludes Amina.
In a few days, a new step will be taken. Will it be a smile on the lips for the French judoka? We will know soon but it is certain that the team spirit inhabits this team of France.