The semi-final loss to Japan on Friday August 6 looked like a rout. But the French basketball players were able to draw on their mental resources to win Olympic bronze at the Tokyo Games on Saturday in Saitama. They largely beat (91-76) the Serbs in the match for 3rd place.
The Bleues of Valérie Garnier had only 17 hours to catch their breath and regain their spirits after the semi-final. They were able to show a great aggressiveness to take their revenge on Serbia, who had beaten them in the final of the Euro in June. They thus offer France a 29th medal in these Olympic Games.
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Taking off in the last minutes, the Blue were able to keep the Serbs at bay during the second half of the match, taking their risks in the throw and concentrated in defense. Their joy at the end of the match was tinged with a spirit of revenge after the rain of criticism they had suffered after the Euro, where they were favorites.
In Tokyo, they hoped to return to an Olympic final nine years after London-2012. It will finally be bronze, at the end of a beautiful course where they also beat their great Spanish rivals in the quarterfinals.
Their medal comes on top of the silver of their male counterparts, narrowly beaten by the United States hours earlier. Basketball thus contributes remarkably to the success of the French in team sports during this Olympiad.
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