PSG Judo demands the double with star team
Double winners of the Europa League last year and the French Champion last May, the men's and women's teams of PSG Judo will arrive in Georgia with the firm intention of repeating at the highest continental level.
There is no time to lose for Nicolas Mossion and Florent Urani's athletes, who are preparing to compete in PSG Judo's first Champions League since its new start in 2017. We have successfully passed through all the intermediate levels and we are therefore going to present ourselves, once again, with a lot of ambition for this competition," presents the person in charge of the high level. Given the density of the field, with teams that have been strengthened for the occasion, the level promises to be very high.
Like last year in the Europa League, several foreign players have been added to the Red and Blue ranks. World number 1 in their respective categories, Moldovan Denis Vieru (U66kg), bronze medalist at the World Championships in Tashkent at the beginning of October, and Uzbek Davlat Bobonov (U90kg), who won in front of his home crowd, will be part of the competition as last year in Prague, as will Italian Manuel Lombardo (U73kg), vice world champion and European champion in -66kg last year. "We announced it last year, we had the idea to build on the long term with Denis and Davlat, with whom we have always stayed in contact since the Europa League. They themselves were in the same process, so it was logical to call on them again. As far as Manuel is concerned, he is also in the same frame of mind, and he will allow us to double the position in U73kg with Luca Otmane, finalist of the last French Championships. Ten-time world champion Teddy Riner (+90kg) will make his return to competition this summer, while world champions Alpha Djalo (U81kg) and Alexis Mathieu (U90kg) will also be on the trip, as well as recent French champion Eniel Caroly, entered in the +90kg class, and junior world vice champion Arnaud Aregba (U81kg).
In the women's category, Canadian Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, Olympic medallist in Tokyo and vice world champion last month, will support the recent European champions with the French team Faiza Mokdar (U57kg) and Marie-Ève Gahié (U70kg) or the new +78kg world champion Romane Dicko (photo above). "The Dutchwoman Sanne Vermeer, who was with us in Prague a year ago, was injured, so we contacted Catherine to reinforce the team in U63kg and hope to win on Saturday. The only shadow in the picture is the last minute withdrawal of the U52kg Olympic vice-champion Amandine Buchard, with a back injury. "It is a hard blow because Amandine, our captain, was one of the strong points of the team, but we will also take up the challenge for her. Everyone present is ready and aware of the collective objective. Twenty-seven years after the first Champions League won by a section of Paris-Saint-Germain, the trophy cabinet of the Red and Blue judokas is waiting for this.
In the line-up the name of Amandine Buchard is missing, the Olympic finalist and 2022 world bronze medallist in U52kg, announced in Facebook that she would have to stay away from the tatami following a total fracture of the L5 vertebra on the left side and partial fracture on the right side.
PSG JUDO'S LINE-UP
-52 kg : Mélanie Vieu
-57 kg : Martha Fawaz and Faïza Mokdar
-63 kg: Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN) and Lili Nguyen
-70 kg: Juliette Diollot and Marie-Ève Gahié
+70 kg: Romane Dicko
-66 kg: Benjamin Gomes and Denis Vieru (MDA)
-73 kg: Luca Otmane and Manuel Lombardo (ITA)
-81 kg: Arnaud Aregba and Alpha Djalo
-90 kg: Davlat Bobonov (UZB) and Alexis Mathieu
+90 kg: Eniel Caroly and Teddy Riner