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France Seeks Historic Win in Judo World Team Championships Final Against Japan

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France aims to secure their first mixed team world title in the Judo World Team Championships final against reigning champions Japan. Can they break Japan's winning streak?

The French judo team is poised to claim its first mixed team world title on Friday in Abu Dhabi. They face a formidable opponent in Japan, who has dominated the event, winning every edition since its inception in 2017. Both nations have shown strong performances leading up to the final match, with France defeating Italy in the quarter-final (4-1) and Georgia in the semi-final (4-2), while Japan crushed Germany (4-0) and Uzbekistan (4-1).

Historically, the world team judo championships have seen Japan and France in the final, except for the inaugural edition in 2017, where Japan emerged victorious against Brazil, leaving France to secure a bronze medal. Now, after earning five silver medals, the French are eager to clinch their first gold. France, who are also the reigning Olympic champions after defeating Japan in Tokyo, aims to replicate their success on this global stage.

The French team is bolstered by veteran judoka Axel Clerget, competing in the -90 kg category. At 37, Clerget is a double world bronze medalist (2018 and 2019) and is determined to make a mark in what may be one of his final competitions. He has won both of his matches so far. Adding to the team's strength is Margaux Pinot, the new world champion in the -70 kg category, who also secured a victory in her first fight of the day against Georgia.

The much-anticipated final between France and Japan will be broadcast on La Chaîne L'Équipe and Eurosport 2 this Friday, May 24, starting at 4 p.m. French time. Fans around the world will be watching closely to see if France can break Japan's winning streak and claim the title for the first time.

  • Against Italy in the quarter-finals, the French team secured a solid 4-1 victory, with wins from Maxime Ngayap, Léa Fontaine, Axel Clerget, and Joan-Benjamin Gaba; Priscilla Gneto was the only one to suffer a defeat. In the semi-finals against Georgia, which included Olympic and world vice-champion Guram Tushishvili, France faced more resistance but ultimately triumphed 4-2.
  • France's journey to the final has been marked by strong and strategic performances from its judokas. Clerget's experience and determination, combined with Pinot's prowess and recent world champion status, have provided the team with a formidable edge.
Daily Reports
Refs: | Le Figaro | Le Parisien |

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