The incredible Paris Grand Slam concluded just yesterday, medallists confirmed, a few more selections for the Games also confirmed. The feeling we all understood while inside the Accor Hotels Arena was a mix of excitement, anticipation and a sincere love for the sport of judo.

That feeling might have dissipated as the adrenaline faded away, well, if it wasn’t for the camp, a camp which every year attracts not only the majority of the competitors from the grand slam but also a host of extra entrants. There are French domestic youngsters, many new international teams arriving only for the camp, and of course locals. Despite it being split into the separate men’s and women’s sessions, the mat is still full, brimming with the world’s best, hundreds on each session, accompanied by the world’s most recognisable coaches. Boenisch, Hershko, Inoue, Menezes, Draksik, Kuka, Kelmendi, they’re all there.

Coaches network with coaches and enjoy essential mondo that keeps the thinking moving forward. The athletes are working on technical improvement, throwing without hesitation, regaining dented confidence and many other elements.

The competitive buzz makes way for a different feeling, almost a satisfaction as the level of the camp feeds the new anticipation for whatever is next. For some they’re now preparing for Baku or for Tashkent. Others are making the most of the Paris meet before taking some rest time but what is certain is that Paris continues to feel good.

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