As soon as they entered the game, you could swear that nothing was going to resist them. There is this joyful tranquility on the faces, combined with this rage to win in the looks. And finally its luxury spectators to support them from the stands of the Yoyogi Stadium: the French handball players, some with the gold medal around their necks, sing the Marseillaise at the top of their lungs to accompany them.
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On Sunday August 8, the French handball players achieved the feat against the Russians, winning the only title that was missing from their wallet: Olympic gold. Five years after a final lost in Rio against the same Russians (22-19), they dominate the game and take their revenge in Tokyo (30-25), while their Olympic tournament had started in pain.
” We had a delicate, difficult course, but we were able to progress from match to match ”, comments coach Olivier Krumbholz. In groups, the Blue had lost against Spain and Russia, which they therefore found in the final. Recalled before Rio after having held this position from 1998 to 2013, Olivier Krumbholz is delighted with the balance found since: “ There is a very good complementarity between the young and the old. “
As if to add suspense to a game while in control, the Blue were glued to the score at the start of the second period (16-16). Everything then has to be rebuilt. It will only take a few minutes: two goals from Océane Sercien-Ugolin pave the way for a recital, coupled with decisive stops by goalkeeper Cléopatre Darleux.
Sumptuous weekend for the Blues
Les Bleues were able to demonstrate their unity throughout the competition. ” When you see us laughing all the time, explains Béatrice Edwige. Everything is sincere. It matches perfectly between us. On the podium, goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud, one of the captains, presented the medals to each of her teammates, often in tears.
While most of the French medalists returned to France, the French handball players were the last to be able to bring the country up, 10th Sunday morning, in the medal ranking. Their victory allows them to climb to 8th place and to equal the number of titles of Rio (10).
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This performance ends a sumptuous weekend for French team sports. On Saturday, the Blues in handball and volleyball won gold, basketball players silver, and their female counterparts bronze. Now we are on course for 2024. ” The Olympics in Paris will be the competition of the century », Announces Olivier Krumbholz.