They entered the Video games collectively for the primary time in Tokyo. On Wednesday August 25, the French parataekwondo and parabadminton groups took their seats on the identical aircraft to Japan. And the 2 taekwondoists in addition to the six French badists are on a mission to advertise their disciplines.
“The Video games can generate pleasure or, [du moins], relieve folks with disabilities and provides them ambitions ”, hopes the nationwide technical director (DTN) of the French Badminton Federation (FFBAD), Jérôme Careil. “The primary technology of parataekwondo on the Video games should give start to vocations”, confirms nationwide taekwondo coach Oury Sztantman. As a result of, if for the reason that officialization in 2015 of their entry into the Olympic program the 2 disciplines have been structured on the worldwide scene, the French federations are struggling to search out their viewers on the nationwide territory.
5 medals hoped for on the Video games
In parabadminton, the objective in Tokyo was set at three medals, “Together with one in gold”, specifies Jérôme Careil. Excessive ambitions, as much as the rating of its gamers. “Lucas [Mazur] has the potential to win two, singles and doubles ”, continues the DTN. World primary in SL4 (handicap of a decrease limb), the Salbrisien is, at solely 23 years previous, double world champion in singles (2017 and 2019) and triple European champion (2014, 2016 and 2018).
Watch out to not see your self too stunning, warns the president of the FFBAD, Yohan Penel: “The eighteen months of the pandemic have reshuffled the playing cards, particularly among the many Paralympics, who’ve solely had two competitions. “ The French chief fears the power of Japanese badists to transcend themselves at residence, in a sport very talked-about in Japan.
For the parataekwondo, the 2 French representatives in Japan – the quadruple world champion (2009, 2010, 2015 and 2019) and triple European champion (2014, 2017 and 2018) underneath 61 kg in Okay43 Bopha Kong and the champion World (2009) underneath 67 kg within the Open and European champion (2019) over 58 kg in Okay44 Laura Schiel – can every declare the rostrum, even gold.
Nonetheless, the duty guarantees to be tougher for the previous. Used to preventing within the Okay43 class, the Franco-Vietnamese, doubly amputated of the forearms after a do-it-yourself bomb exploded in his palms when he was 18 years previous, will even be against the fighters of the class 44 (handicap of 1 arm or equal limitation), the 2 courses having been grouped collectively in Tokyo. a “Very vital drawback”, notes the DTN of the French Taekwondo Federation (FFTDA), Patrick Rosso.
For his half, Oury Sztantman notably afraid the performances of Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. The nations that “Align probably the most combatants with disabilities”, insists the top of the France taekwondo pole.
The digital absence of succession
The taekwondo and badminton federations – two disciplines previously positioned underneath the aegis of the French Handisport Federation – solely obtained in January 2017 and April 2019, the sports activities delegation from the Ministry of Sports activities, which permits them to prepare the follow of their self-discipline. Consequently, disabled athletes have been capable of profit from a high-level athlete standing and the customized aids that stream from it. Nonetheless, the scenario of those athletes stays precarious: the gamers are “Dispersed all through the territory”, underlines Jérôme Careil, the DTN of the FFBAD, arguing a “Important structuring deficit”.
Just a little greater than three years earlier than the Paris Video games, it’s the digital absence of succession that worries the French technicians. “If we take a look at the figures, there will not be many licensees who declare themselves to be para[athlètes] in our neighborhood as a result of incapacity just isn’t at all times effectively accepted [par les sportifs] or not very effectively assumed by the golf equipment ”, observes Yohan Penel.
In France, parabadminton counts simply 200 practitioners. Its martial arts counterpart has barely ten, not sufficient to create a French parataekwondo championship. As a result of a big a part of disabilities will not be seen, many are “Wish to dwell their associative life just like the others”, continues the French boss of badminton. “They’re within the golf equipment however they wish to follow with the able-bodied”, confirm the DTN of taekwondo, Patrick Rosso.
For “Promote a tradition of inclusion”, the federations perform pedagogy in faculties and universities and multiply the times of detection. It was additionally throughout one among as of late that the nationwide taekwondo coach noticed a “Potential” for 2024. A younger girl, aged 14 on the time, paralyzed in her left arm, whom she “Hid underneath his sweatshirt”, remembers the coach.
A yr later, it was in a sports activities retailer that Oury Sztantman found a promising expertise. From “Avenue castings”, as he calls them, which replicate the issue in detecting high-level athletes, eligible with their handicap and “In a position to accuse blows”.
A medal in Japan from taekwondoist Bopha Kong and badiste David Toupé (first French world champion in parabadminton) can be a good reward for 2 athletes who’ve achieved quite a bit for the event of their respective disciplines. “We’d like ambassadors, life-changing journeys, like that of David [victime d’un accident de ski], to make the follow seen ”, says Yohan Penel.
Bopha Kong, for his half, will attempt to perpetuate a sure French custom of taekwondo on the Video games, a sport which has at all times allowed the Blues to deliver again a medal of their baggage for the reason that introduction of the self-discipline amongst able-bodied, in Sydney, in 2000.
Our number of articles on the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Video games
Discover all of our content material on the Tokyo Paralympic Video games, from August 24 to September 5: