May 26, 2022

basketball, hand, volleyball, indoor sports are taken at the last four games

Three for the price of one. The summer sales may have ended at the end of July, but the BHV continues its wholesale prices in August. “BHV”, or “basketball, hand, volley”, school sports par excellence. Olympic sports, especially: France succeeded, Tuesday, August 3, an unprecedented treble for it. In a few hours, his men’s handball, basketball and volleyball teams qualified for the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympic Games (OG).

It is almost midnight, in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, at the Ariake Arena: a trainer on the ground! As if he wanted to come as reinforcement on the ground, Laurent Tillie had “A stroke of madness”. Fifth and final round: Poland spiked, the coach of the France volleyball team dived to catch the ball. “By dint of being around crazy people, I’m going crazy too!” I thought they weren’t going to see the difference between a real libero and me. ” The coach pulls it out with burns to his elbow, shoulder and back.

The Blues played against the Polish selection, double reigning world champion, a first Olympic quarter-final. A time led two sets to one, here they are qualified for the semi-finals (3-2).

This success looks like an achievement, yes. “This is the third exploit, we are starting to get used to it”, jokes the coach. It refers to the two previous matches, the last two of the first round: a success over Russia (3-1), on July 30, then a tie-break loss (3-2) against Brazil, and therefore the obtaining a crucial point, the 1is August. Poland, Brazil, Russia: neither more nor less than the three best teams of the tournament, in the opinion of the coach.

Read also: French volleyball players qualify for historic semi-final

Laurent Tillie talks about a ” dream “, not one “Outcome”. His team will face Argentina in the semi-finals – who had beaten them in the first round (3-2), after already a setback against the United States (3-0). To the players, he keeps repeating “The same speech” for several days: “We are survivors! “

“We have our place among these sports”

About fifty kilometers further north, in the huge Saitama Arena, the French basketball players did not throw themselves on the floor. But their relief was palpable. “I might be a little vulgar, but I finally got through this fucking Olympic quarterback”, asserts Captain Nicolas Batum. It is that his Blues keep an indelible memory of the Olympic disillusions. Then led by Tony Parker, the French squad had approached London then Rio with ambition, before colliding with the glass ceiling of the quarters. His successors have shattered it, taking the best, Tuesday, on a catchy Italy (84-75).

“We couldn’t lose this game. I had to do something different ”, insists Batum, as ubiquitous on Tuesday (15 points, 14 rebounds) as discreet at the same stadium in 2012 and 2016. In view of their performances for several years, finding the Blues of the orange ball in the last Olympic square is not, strictly speaking, a surprise. But this had not happened since the adventure of Antoine Rigaudeau’s teammates and their silver medal in 2000.

Read also Tokyo 2021 Olympics: French basketball players in the semi-finals after their victory against Italy

“The semi-final will be new for us, warns coach Vincent Collet. We won medals at the Euro and at the World Cup, but it’s not the same. “ Having had the annoying habit of slacking off after exploits in the past, his men are warned: the last square is not an end in itself. Facing the dreaded Luka Doncic’s Slovenia, the battle promises to be tough for a place in the final.

Unlike their counterparts from other “co-sports”, the handball team knows the way to the Olympic semi-finals by heart. Since 1992, they have only missed this meeting twice (2000 and 2004). But if Nikola Karabatic’s teammates weren’t too happy at Yoyogi Stadium, it’s because they hardly had time to doubt on Tuesday. The France team made the match easy (42-28) against that of Bahrain, a novice at this stage.

In search of a balance since the arrival of Guillaume Gilles on the bench, the teammates of captain Michaël Guigou seem to have (re) found the formula at the appropriate time. “Since the beginning of the adventure, we have always pointed to Tokyo with the idea and the ambition to come and win the Games, evokes the French coach. Today, we are in the last square, where we wanted to be. “ Against Egypt, defender of Germany, the Blues will play for a fourth Olympic final in a row.

Wednesday August 4, it will be the turn of the French handball and basketball. Some have a quarter-final against the Netherlands to play, others against Spain. In the meantime, the competitor Barthélémy Chinenyeze is delighted with the presence of French volleyball at this level never reached in the past. “ It shows that we have our place among these sports, and it makes people talk about volleyball. “ And for once not the Blues of football, eliminated in the first round of these Games. As a revenge for “playground sports”.

Seeing the same flag so far in the men’s table in basketball, handball and volleyball at the same time has not happened since the Soviets in 1988.

Our selection of articles on the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games