Stéphane Nomis: “Teddy Riner and Clarisse Agbegnenou would have deserved to be standard bearers again”

Stéphane Nomis: “Teddy Riner and Clarisse Agbegnenou would have deserved to be standard bearers again”

Stéphane Nomis: “Our first mission is to go into the neighborhoods to improve people’s daily lives.” Free Midi – GIACOMO ITALIANO

Present on March 14 in Montpellier for the regional sports meetings, the president of the French Judo Federation evokes his loyalty to the region in preparing for the Games and returns to the controversy surrounding the criteria for designating flag bearers.

Your men's team will once again prepare for the Games at Creps de Montpellier. Why this loyalty ?

We create habits, certainties. Superstition is part of the game of top athletes. But it is above all because we find great infrastructure there, a real partnership. We are comfortable, at peace, we have never had a problem. problem. This is an important aspect. It's a city and a region that gives us the best opportunities and for a green experience before the Olympics, it's ideal.

These links result in other partnerships ?

We have been working with the Region for a long time to set up dojos in neighborhoods that need them. It's a program that works well and allows people to return to complicated neighborhoods, where there isn't much sport anymore. there are values, a state-certified teacher. Of our 600,000 licensees, there is 1% high level and 99% mass practice. Our first mission is to improve the daily lives of all people. There aren't many sports where you can be overweight and become a champion.

"Children need a framework and judo gives them one"

It's a sport that is both structured and allows you to let off steam. This fits well with this type of neighborhood ?

Exactly. Children need a framework. And judo brings it to them. We have a lot of kids who came from difficult neighborhoods and who ended up at Insep.

To return to the preparation of the Olympics, you are on time ?

The first work was done at the European Championships in Montpellier. This first test  worked at all levels. The kids were happy, the athletes were happy to be there and to have had their fill of medals (nine medals including five gold, Editor's note).

Riner who complains about not having enough tickets, Agbegnenou who hesitates because she can no longer be a standard bearer… Your stars are a little nervous ?

It's normal for there to be nervousness and above all they want to serve their country. Clarisse was standard bearer in Tokyo but it was thin, without an audience, without an evening… She remained frustrated. And then, the standard bearers must win too. Ours, in general, are there! We saw others who lost. It's a heavy role to bear.

Also read: Paris 2024 Olympic Games. "That doesn't give us the right to rule out" : Agbegnenou unhappy with the rules for designating the future flag bearer which exclude her

Who will you propose as a potential flag bearer ?

We're going to turn around a little. I would have happily suggested Teddy and Clarisse again because I found the story magnificent. The French people would also have found themselves in there but we will find other names, we have no shortage of talents…

You have one of the strongest groups in the history of French judo ?

Certainly. We have a big group but we formed it. A few years ago, we had a very strong female group but less successful among the boys. I changed the entire management, made complicated choices, I took on people from the private sector too, which had never happened with us. We had to make things happen and bring us closer to the clubs. Judo is a French team but also links with clubs from all regions. It's important that the athlete feels good with his club and his family.

"We are aiming for ten medals at the Paris Olympics" 

What will be your goal at the Games ?

We are aiming for ten medals because we have ten people in the Top 4 in the world. In many sports the ratio will be one medal for ten athletes. At home, we want to get closer to a medal for two athletes. 

You still have one athlete to choose between Audrey Tcheuméo and Madeleine Malonga. Any selection is necessarily exposed to criticism ?

Choosing between Audrey and Madeleine is a rich man's problem but a complicated choice because they are gambling with their lives and are both Olympic medalists. It will be done in a few days… We have to be fair but our first criterion remains meritocracy. It's not just the last result that counts but what you have done over the last two seasons. There is a selection path that we respect but you have to earn your place. 

It's Gardoise Shirine Boukli who will be the first on the tatami during the Olympics…

Yes. It's a heavy responsibility but my heart goes out to her. Shirine is the joy of the France team, she shines! If she starts well, the team will go from strength to strength. She's going to have a lot of pressure but I'm not worried because she's very hungry.

Also read: European Judo Championships in Montpellier: "We always want more", Shirine Boukli looks back on her new title

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