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The Paris feeling for the Olympic medallists

17 Jan 2017 18:05

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    Klaus Müller / Watch:
20160206_Paris_KM_Majlinda Kelmendi-2

Last weekend the first test of the new rules was in Tunis at the African Open, but the real test of most of the top athletes will be the Grand Slam of Paris. With 25 days to go the IJF interview some of the finest medallists from the Rio Olympics about their Paris feeling.

Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS) -52kg, Olympic Champion
For me the Paris Grand Slam is the most beautiful competition in judo. I really like to fight there because the crowd is amazing and also there comes a lot of Olympic and World champions which makes this competition even more interesting. For me personally it is really important because since 2017 Paris is my first competition of the year and the last three years I won it so it means a lot to me.
Rafaela SILVA (BRA) – 57kg, Olympic Champion
I think that fighting in Paris is like playing in a huge soccer stadium full of fans and athletes. This kind of thing excites me a lot. For me it is a special competition because I enjoy fighting for a crowd and they are good hosts. I am always well received by the French girls, (Audrey) Tcheuméo, Clarisse (Agbegnenou), Fanny (Estelle-Posvite), Madeleine (Malonga), (Priscilla) Gneto.
Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA), U63kg, silver in Rio
For me Paris is so special because is at home and it's easy for my family to come support me and my friends.
Paris is a really big tournament with a lot of emotion. It's important for me to show to my fans that I am also here for them. I feel good, I just want to give my best and do a good job and have a good result.
Varlam LIPARTELIANI (GEO) -100kg, silver in Rio
The best judoka participate in the Paris Grand Slam, it is always a very strong competitions and also it's very remarkable with the people who attend. The hall is always full and the French people love judo and they are cheering very much.
Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) -73kg, silver in Rio
In Paris at the Grand Slam there has always been a very good level of organisation and I like the arena with there being so many people! I would like this year to win gold in this tournament.
TAKATO Naohisa (JPN) -60kg, bronze in Rio
Just as strong as the World Judo Championships, the Paris Grand Slam will be attended by extremely high level judoka from across the world.
The Paris Grand Slam is the most important tournament for me to be selected as a member of the National Team for the 2017 World Judo Championships. Not to mention that I should win, but the content of the match also matters


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Related Judo Photos

  • Rafaela Silva (BRA) - Grand Slam Paris (2014, FRA) - © Christian Fidler
  • Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA) - Grand Slam Paris (2016, FRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Varlam Liparteliani (GEO) - Grand Slam Paris (2016, FRA) - © Klaus Müller, Watch:

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