A week ago we noted that the Japanese team coming to Abu Dhabi would be an almost exclusively different team from the one which will travel to Paris at the end of July. Only Nagayama would bridge the two. Read the article here:


The French team, however, is almost exclusively the one that will appear at their home Games. Why does France have such a different outlook from that of Japan? Can both strategies work well? France are in possession of the Olympic Mixed Team Event gold and there is no doubt that they would like to retain it. Might this decision have an impact on that outcome?

Franc: Olympic mixed team champions.

The France Judo Team Manager at the Abu Dhabi World Championships, Eric Buonomo, is happy to talk about their choices, “This kind of decision is always taken in consultation with the athletes. Some of them want to do it whereas some need a softer preparation for the Games. For us, we have many different cases, all to be considered individually. Sometimes it’s important to have points in order to have a top eight position at the Games. For others, it doesn’t matter as their position is safe but they are not likely to make the top 8 at this late stage. Host nation qualification gives us some leeway. Sometimes they need a short break or some rehab for small issues.

We can also think about this as the worlds, yes, but also it’s training, a good competition for collecting useful information ahead of the Olympic Games. A world championships will always be a big and important event but this year the Olympic Games is the priority. Really, it’s an all-round discussion about strategies that can be adapted correctly for all.

Three years ago this was a new concept, to have a world championships so close to the Games. Events are closer together than ever before and many athletes are doing 10-12 grand slams per year; with weight considerations it becomes complicated and so it is very important to think about the nuances. In my opinion we can find ourselves without time to really train and we must make that time. It can’t always be about preparing for the next event, but to train in order to reach the optimum level of performance. However, everyone is in this situation, not just us, we are all balancing these things."

Clarisse Agbegnenou winning the 2021 world championship gold just weeks before the Tokyo Olympic Games.

"Clarisse decided to compete and won both last time round but she was the only one who did that, from any nation. Madeleine went to the final but didn’t quite take the last step. We are therefore now very careful about not making a blanket rule or decision. Teddy wanted to participate here in Abu Dhabi, for example, and continue his current comfortable line but he had a small niggle and we decided not to take the risk. It’s not easy to have a global view for such a high level but diverse team."

Amandine Buchard won bronze at the 2024 Abu Dhabi World Championships.

"We aren’t afraid to participate at the worlds, even in a year that includes the Olympics but it must be right for each of them individually. The main goal is the Games for our team though and it remains so for the individuals too.”

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