Olympics: team sports give France back its radiance

The Tokyo Summer Olympics ended Sunday with an exceptional last weekend for French sport, put on the front of the world stage by its disciplines collective.

A few hours before the closing, the handball players thus won their first Olympic title, bringing a final gold medal to France, after those obtained Saturday, hard by the handball players and volleyball players, the latter also obtaining such a consecration for the first time.

This penultimate day of the Olympics was also marked by two medals in basketball, one silver for the men’s team, logically beaten in the final by the American favorites, led by the star Kevin Durant , the other in bronze for the women. In the final table, France finished these Tokyo Games in eighth place with gold medals and 33 in total, with the United States continuing to dominate Olympic sport with 113 medals including 39 Golden.

Balance sheet improved Exceptional, these last two days of team sports have little improved the results of the Tricolores. France, whose delegation had left for Tokyo with a goal of forty medals, fell one place compared to the final table of the Rio Games in 2016, and again by equaling the number of gold medals on the last day.

If judo – even if Teddy Riner did not obtain a third individual triumph – and fencing were there once again, swimming and the athletics disappointed. Both are content with a single silver medal, thanks on the one hand to Florent Manaudou, author of a remarkable comeback at the highest level on the 50 freestyle, and Kevin Mayer, who climbed to the decathlon podium despite an injury.

The leaders and athletes of two major Olympic sports have three years to improve performance for Paris 2024.

“Transform swimming or athletics in three years, this is not possible, ”admits in an interview with AFP, the general manager of high performance at the National Sports Agency, Claude Onesta. Regarding athletics, the latter stressed that “the fact that the result is weak will force a record without concessions”. The boss of high-level French sport also made no secret of the fact that the federations whose “system” “no longer produces its effects” will be supported “in a more directive manner”.