The Spectacular Transformation of PSG Judo: How the French Club Assembles an Unstoppable Judo Team

PSG Judo denies having taken out the checkbook but we don’t really see by what other means it was able to carry out its policy of spectacular recruitment in order to conquer Europe. With an impressive armada, the capital club is aiming for nothing more and nothing less this Saturday in Belgrade than the titles in the men’s and women’s team tournaments of the Champions League, a competition which devotes the finest squads of clubs to the continental scale.

Since this summer, everything has accelerated under the leadership of Djamel Bouras, president of PSG Judo. First there was the arrival of Damiano Martinuzzi as head coach, made official in August, to strengthen the technical staff. The 43-year-old Belgian technician was until then in charge of the Elite group within the Flemish federation, and especially Toma Nikiforov, 2021 European champion, and Mathias Casse, 2019 and 2021 world champion.

Six ambitious French recruits

And on the day he took office, September 1, PSG gave an idea of ​​its growing appetite by welcoming four Tricolores: Margaux Pinot (-70kg), 2020 European champion, Walide Khyar (-66kg), Luka Mkheidze ( -60kg), 3rd at the Tokyo 2021 Games and 2023 European champion, and Aleksa Mitrovic (-90kg).

An idea, simply, because these announcements are only a taste of what is to come. Six days later, we learned of the signing of Priscilla Gneto, third at the London 2012 Games, 2017 European champion, winner of the Paris 2023 Grand Slam, and above all gold in team competitions, at the world championships as at the European Championships.

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But that wasn’t all: at the end of September, PSG continued with Audrey Tcheuméo and her CV as world champion (2011), Olympic medalist (bronze in London 2012, silver in Rio 2016), vice-world champion 2023, quadruple European champion and favorite to get the ticket for the Paris 2024 Games in -78kg. “She will be an undeniable new asset for the club in future competitions, starting with the Champions League,” said Djamel Bouras, Olympic judo champion in 1996.

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Two Olympic champions and a double world champion from Georgia

In reality, this choice reinforcement is only a teaser of what is happening behind the scenes, because two months later, on November 27, the Georgians Lasha Shavdatuashvili (-73kg), Tato Grigalashvili (-81kg) and Lasha Bekauri (-90kg) tumble in turn. There, it’s a real thunderclap on the European judo board: the first named, aged 31, was Olympic champion in 2012, the second is a double reigning world champion, and the third, 23 years old also, is the reigning Olympic champion…

Finally, to close this “transfer window” chapter, the club completes the “-63kg” box on December 1st for the ladies with Lucy Renshall. And if she is not a star, the 27-year-old Briton, world number 7, is a regular at major events: she has won six Grand Slams and is the defending champion in the Champions League

So, with this XXL male casting, there’s no need to hide. “Our ambition is clear: we want to win this Champions League with our two teams, agrees Damiano Martinuzzi, who took advantage of an internship in the sun of Valencia, in Spain, to close ranks before the big meeting. timely after this somewhat special period of the announcement of the first Olympic selections, which we had to digest for everyone: those who were not selected, those who are not yet but also our first seven entrants . These days spent together had the desired effect.”

The Belgian coach talks about those selected for the Paris 2024 Olympics, and those who failed too. Because it must have been difficult for some to digest the France Judo verdict. With seven selected Red and Blue already out of the ten announced on November 24 (the last four will be later), PSG still looks like a French team.

Riner: “I want to win this gold medal too”

And in this XXL casting, we obviously don’t forget the icon Teddy Riner (+100kg). The double Olympic champion and ten-time world champion skipped the individual European Championships at the beginning of October in Montpellier, but not this Champions League, which is of particular importance in his preparation for the Paris Olympics. Perhaps because his “à la carte” program will perhaps not go through the Grand Slam in Paris at the beginning of February. “I also want to win this gold medal. It would make me really happy. Plus, we have a great team. I think we have more and more great players at the club. So that would be good to achieve that,” he breathes. We understand it.

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In Belgrade, the other clubs will discover a new PSG, eager to turn the Georgian page of the 2022 Champions League, in Gori. The boys placed seventh and the girls third. And with the reigning European champions Amandine Buchard (-52kg), Marie-Ève ​​Gahié (-70kg) and Romane Dicko (+70kg), there is also room to do better.

Walide Khyar (FRA)Luka Mkheidze (FRA)Messaoud Redouane Dris (ALG)Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO)Alpha Djalo (FRA)Tato Grigalashvili (GEO)Lasha Bekauri (GEO)Alexis Mathieu (FRA)Amandine Buchard (FRA)Melanie Vieu (FRA). Martha Fawaz (FRA)Priscilla Gneto (FRA)Faiza Mokdar (FRA)Marie-Eve Gahie (FRA)Margaux Pinot (FRA)Romane Dicko (FRA)Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA)
2023-12-08 20:00:49
#Recruitment #XXL #casting #PSG #aims #Champions #League #titles


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