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Equipe de France de Handball

Team sports: staying power!

The French women’s handball and basketball players have qualified for the quarterfinals in Tokyo. What a relief!


How history repeats itself…


Five years after reaching the final in Rio, the French women’s handball team is again in the running to perform this feat another time… despite coming close to quitting the competition after losing to Spain and Russia. They can thank their final victory against Brazil (29-22) for saving them in extremis. In the quarterfinals they’ll be coming up against an old opponent: the Netherlands. This is the team they beat in the semi-finals in Rio as well as in the European Championships coming after the Brazilian Olympics... This double triumph is of the kind that inspires a strong spirit of revenge in one’s opponents. The Dutch are also coached by a man that the French players know very well: Emmanuel Mayonnade, who also trains the team in Metz and therefore regularly encounters the members of the French team in their matches, and who even trains one of them, Méline Nocandy.

Three in a row...

A few hours after the handball team, the women’s basketball players also managed, with great difficulty, to secure their place in the quarterfinals. The team coached by Valérie Garnier found themselves in this predicament after losing to Japan 74-70 in their very first game. This meant that, in their last game, they had to face the immense challenge of not losing by more than 14 points against the formidable American team, a score that would enable them to qualify as the best third-placed team! At the end of a game in which they long stayed neck-and-neck with the United States, the French finally capitulated 93 to... 82. Which was enough to get them through to the next stage! So here they are in the quarterfinals for the third time in a row. They had already reached this stage in the competition in 2012 in their fantastic tournament in London and, subsequently, in Rio, where they had the misfortune of ending up in the most frustrating of places (4th). This time the challenge facing them is immense because they’ll be facing the Spanish team that have already beaten them three times in the finals of the European Championships...


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Copyright photo : KMSP

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