May 22, 2022

Clicks and slaps to everyone … Team sports are a treat in Tokyo (and it’s not over)

In Tokyo, there is strength in unity. Football – which we will be careful not to make the thousandth trial – put aside, the French Olympic teams have been shining since the start of the fortnight. Five of them made it to the semi-finals of their respective tournaments: hand (female and male), basketball (female and male) and volleyball, causing more or less thrills throughout their journey. If the satisfaction and the desire to bring to the skies the French model in terms of team sports invade us at the moment T, a reality immediately restrains them. It is that, all semi-finalists that they are, these formations are absolutely not guaranteed to win a medal by the end of the 2021 Olympics. Olympic coronation, a small state of the forces involved.

Men’s handball: the return of the Experts?

The click : The victory against the Germans in the group stage, certainly. Already, because it allowed the French to put themselves in the OJ mode against an opposition worthy of the name (even if it is no longer the great Germany), as the victory proves in the last moments of the match. Then, because it allowed the Blues to qualify in the third game and by extension to secure a place in the good part of the table.

The declared : Guillaume Gille, coach, after the victory against Bahrain. “Since the beginning of the adventure of this new staff, we have always pointed to Tokyo with the ambition of winning the Olympics. But again between ambition and achievement, there is a lot to be won. “

The prognosis : Silver medal. If there is a team that knows that last four does not mean a podium, it is the Blues of the hand. Here they are again at the same point as at Euro 2021, where they had failed in 4th place. The picture seems more lenient this time, with Egypt in the semi-finals. We want there to be no small team at this stage of the competition, but finally there, a defeat would be borderline acceptable. Behind, it will probably be Denmark, a little too strong for the French at first glance.

Dika Mem aka the trigger – Nicolas Datiche / SIPA

Women’s handball: in diesel mode

The click: The victory against Brazil. Without it, no qualifying or derailment inflicted on the Dutch world champions. Admittedly, they were the weakest team in the group opposite, but Krumbholz’s players remained on two losses and a draw (against Sweden, which should have been a victory if Zaadi had not harvested a penalty to the buzzer). By beating the Seleção by seven points, they not only qualified but also gained confidence, which came in handy in the quarterfinals.

The declared: Amandine Leynaud, goalkeeper “From the inside, I have felt a rise in power since the start. We had a really very complicated group, close games, games where you have to fight, games where you take hits. What happens between us is work, work, work. And at the same time, work pays off. “

The prognosis: gold medal. If the rise in power is confirmed, nothing can a priori happen to this team, which has everything to go to the end, especially after having dismissed the world champions. As long as you score at 7m against Sweden in the semi-finals, right, Grace?

Men’s volleyball: the madness we weren’t expecting

The click: Deglingo’s victory against Russia was the founding act of Laurent Tillie’s team. After a catastrophic start against the United States and another defeat against Argentina, France was playing without much we believe against Russia, or rather the ROC. And, against all odds, Jean Patry took the game of his life to put the French in the right direction.

The declared: Laurent Tillie, coach: “This shouldn’t stop, we are really survivors. We beat one of the best teams in the world. […] It would be nice to go get a medal, we are happy to be there. “

The prognosis: Silver medal. If a rematch against Argentina in the semifinals is widely possible, the tournament seems promised to the Brazilians, a little above Ngapeth and company.

Women’s basketball: on a wire

The click: The qualification against the United States at the end of a somewhat bizarre match where the good accounts – the Blue should not lose by more than 14 points of difference – made good friends, but which allowed the French to draw their route in this Olympic tournament.

The declared: Valérie Garnier, coach, on France 2. “This end of the match [en quarts], this is terrible! And it can only be like that a France-Spain in the Olympic quarter-finals. We had moments of weakness but we were able to stay upright. They had the will and it’s great. It is an important moment for French women’s basketball. “

The prone: Silver medal. To be surprised once by Japan, yes, twice, no. Although, if the Japanese are there, it is not by chance … Anyway, the Blue will not do better than finalists. Gold is America.

Men’s basketball: so far, all is well

The click: Just before releasing a triple XL match against the United States still a little stunned, the Blues had taken a huge slap in their last preparation match against Japan. A humiliating defeat whose climax – a calamitous first half – will have been like a bucket of cold water over the sleeping heads of Collet’s men, who will end up escaping the dark fate that some predicted them in Tokyo .

The declared: Vincent Collet, coach: “It’s the match of a career. The Games are the most beautiful basketball competition, the benchmark. […] I dream of going to the final of the Olympic Games. The next two matches, because there will be two (final or for 3rd place afterwards), will be those of a career. “

The prognosis : Bronze medal. Luka Doncic is a team all by himself and we can have all the goodwill in the world, the blue basketball players will be forced to bow to the greatness of the leader of Dallas. But they will recover to get us third place against Australia.