November 30, 2021

To succeed in the 2024 Olympics, French sport encouraged to bet everything on medal-winning disciplines

Man is not known to be in soft consensus. Neither at the head of French handball, which he brought to the top, not today at the direction of high performance within the National Sports Agency (ANS). Renowned for his outspokenness, sometimes authoritarian, Claude Onesta detailed, Tuesday, October 5, his recommendations for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, two months after a disappointing Tokyo edition in which French athletes won 33 medals, far from 42 of Rio in 2016, far from ” quarantine “ set by Onesta before the Games.

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It’s a balance sheet ” uncompromising “, federation by federation, which the Toulousain drew up to identify and understand the reasons for the French failure in Japan. In an interview with The team, on August 9, at the end of the Olympic Games, he had identified the disciplines guilty, in his eyes, of a lack of efficiency and will. Athletics and swimming were particularly targeted. “When a federation went against the wall in Tokyo, it should not be satisfied with telling us that things will be better tomorrow, with the same players and the same methods”, explained to World Claude Onesta, before the presentation of these 2024 recommendations.

However, it is impossible to ignore disciplines that distribute up to nearly 150 medals, such as athletics, he says, if we want to aim for the top 5 in Paris in three years, an objective recalled by the President Emmanuel Macron, mid-September, during the tribute to the Tokyo medalists at the Elysee Palace. The boss of high performance warns: “We will not hesitate to be a little more actors [dans ces fédérations], to be even in the decision-making, even if it means being a little disturbing. “

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In particular, he calls on the leaders of the French Athletics Federation – in the midst of a crisis after the departures of the national technical director, Anne Barrois, and the director of high performance, the former cyclist Florian Rousseau – to make structural decisions. “Radicals.” While recognizing that “The forces are not immediately obvious”.

“Athletes fallen from the clouds”

On this site of the 2024 Olympics, Claude Onesta assumes to displease. As he assumes the “Two-tier processing” which he intends to prescribe to high-level French sport. There is no question for him to continue to invest in the short term in disciplines which present no chance of bringing back Olympic podiums in three years. “What’s the point if it’s to finish fortieth?” We cannot invent athletes who fell from the clouds to make medals in Paris when they are unknown today. “

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