Golden girls. Cardboard boys. The European Championships in Prague (Czech Republic) delivered their verdict on Saturday. In the absence of Teddy Riner, the tricolor judo plays the roller coaster. The summits for the women, the precipices for the men.
As for the celebrations, Romane Dicko was crowned in +78 kg for the second time, at 21, beating Azerbaijani Iryna Kindzerska by ippon in less than two minutes in the final. Dicko won the European title for the first time in 2018. Returning to competition last November after being deprived of it for a year and a half by a double injury to a shoulder and a knee, the young judoka continues her rapid recovery in the world hierarchy, eight months from the Tokyo Games postponed to summer 2021.
Kilian Le Blouch saved the honor
Dicko brings to the French delegation its fifth gold medal in the European competition, the eighth overall. These five continental titles were all conquered by the French women’s team: Shirine Boukli won in -48 kg on Thursday, Clarisse Agbegnenou in -63 kg and Margaux Pinot in -70 kg on Friday, and Madeleine Malonga in -78 kg earlier. Never, in a comparable format, the Blues had won so much European gold. In total, seven of the nine French fighters leave the Czech capital with a medal around their neck, with the bronze obtained by Sarah-Léonie Cysique (-57 kg) and Marie-Eve Gahié (-70 kg).
On the dark side, the men have hit rock bottom. Apart from Kilian Le Blouch, in bronze in -66 kg, who saved the honor. None of the other seven blue judokas has won more than two fights on the Prague tatami mats. The double world bronze medalist Axel Clerget (-90 kg) and Alexandre Iddir (-100 kg) only spent one lap. Cédric Olivar (-100 kg), none. A debacle.