5:00 p.m., July 24, 2021
After a single-medal opening Saturday, the French delegation to the Tokyo Olympics hopes for others this Sunday in fencing, judo and skateboarding. The event is the entry into the running of Rudy Gobert and the basketball players against Kevin Durant’s Team USA but, beware, there is also a succulent United Kingdom-Germany in women’s field hockey.
1 – The table of French medals for Saturday July 24
France is not empty-handed on the evening of the first day: judoka Luka Mkheidze brought back the bronze in -60 kg. But it finds itself behind countries like Thailand, Kosovo or Ecuador, which brought back the second gold medal in its history thanks to cyclist Richard Carapaz.
2 – The game not to miss: France-USA in basketball (2 p.m.)
Difficult to do more flashy for an introduction. Armed to pretend to the podium, the Blues of basketball rub shoulders with the Americans who advance with the status of triple title holder and therefore a target in the back. Still, they have revenge to take on the 2019 World Cup, where Rudy Gobert’s band had ejected them in the quarter-finals.
Here they are more armed this time, with the return of Kevin Durant (Brooklyn) and blaster Damian Lillard as point guard. Each of the teams will have had their share of worries: Team USA deplored two packages in preparation, while three players present during the NBA Milwaukee-Phoenix final (Middleton, Holiday, Booker) only joined Tokyo this Saturday.
Mistreated in preparation (three defeats), the French team started the weekend with protocol concerns, a passenger on their plane having been declared positive for Covid, part of the staff, contact case, had to isolate themselves . But not coach Vincent Collet. The Czech Republic and Iran complete the group.
3 – The prognosis that stings: a Frenchman will deprive Huston of gold in skateboarding (5 hours)
In the world of skateboarding, Nyjah Huston is a legend. So much so that, for the introduction of the discipline to the Games, the American is gladly promised the title of the street category, even beyond his 4.7 million subscribers on Instagram. But the story would be too simple.
Our idea of substitution: the din will come from Milou, Vincent of his first name. The Frenchman, who spends half the year in California, is coming out of any World Cup (9th), but he really wants to boost his notoriety, a safe haven for an environment that is no less artistic than sporting. .
And if it’s not him, Aurelien Giraudwhich gravitates in the same waters (6th in the world), can also foment this type of skateboarding.
A word on the rules of street, which is practiced on street furniture: two runs of 45 seconds, then five attempts to perform a single figure on a chosen obstacle. Seven scores in the end, the best four being taken into consideration to define the podium.
4 – Nobody cares, but not us: cursed grass for the Olympic champions of hockey?
Having seen the crazy crowds at the London Games, we can attest that the field hockey matches take place in a very hot atmosphere. Behind closed doors, the action will be entirely concentrated on the lawn of the Oi stadium.
Big day for purists with the entrance of the British Olympic champions against Germany (2h30) then gold medalists from Rio, the Argentines, against South Africa (2:15 p.m.). We quickly get caught up in this ultra-fast and devilishly offensive game.
Here is a joint sport where the Belgians will not have the seum: they started with a success against the Dutch rivals – the same fiery poster seen by the author of these lines in 2012 – and run no risk of crossing a team of France, not qualified.
5 – The Olympics cheat sheet: what is the difference between a canoe and a kayak?
Ritual question of the Olympics and holidays in Ardèche, the distinction between canoeing and kayaking is based on several points.
- A bit of history first : the canoe is an invention of the American Indians while the kayak comes from the Arctic and the Inuits.
- A touch of technique then : the canoe has an open structure, like a boat, when the kayak is rather covered, simply leaving a space to enter it. It is especially in practice that we see the difference between the two boats. The canoeist is seated and uses a simple paddle; the kayaker is on his knees and uses a double paddle.
- But the fundamental difference is syntactical : “kayak” is a palindrome while “canoe” can only be read in one direction (we checked, ëonac does not appear in the dictionary).