Les Bleues begins a new cycle, less than two years after the 2024 Paris Olympics

A year after claiming a double medal with a silver in the Euros and a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, the French team presents an unprecedented face to launch the 2022 World Cup in Australia, Thursday, September 22, against the host country (12:30 pm). . A competition that is supposed to lead Les Bleues to the gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics, “The Graal” As Sandrine Groda calls her, one of the greatest absentees from the World Cup.

Because this first step towards Paris is done without many executives and with a new coach. After four years of elimination at the last four gates, we lost half of the tanned pick in Tokyo last summer. Six players out of twelve we can also add Olivia Iboba. Diandra Chachwang is retired, Valerian Ayai-Vukosavljevic neglects to stay with her eight-month-old daughter, and most importantly, no five will be injured including Captain Sandrine Groda or Marines Johannes.

The latter’s package for a lesion in the right thigh, which was announced on Tuesday, sent chills down the response of the three-colored delegation. It is difficult for everyone. We know very well the importance you place on the team, Regrets coach Jean-Aimee Toban. She is a player who scores a lot and plays with the ball. We’ll never replace it. The game is obviously going to be different, but we won’t be able to change a lot of things in 48 hours.

So it is a young and inexperienced French team that will try to win the fourth consecutive medal in the international competition (silver in the European Basketball Championship 2019 and 2021, bronze in the Olympics) and the first in the World Cup since 1953. Some numbers are significant: 25.6 years on average, Only two players over the age of 28 (Helena Siak and new captain Sarah Michel) and above all five players who have never played in the International Seniors competition.

“I hope we make a surprise, Winger Gabe Williams, the only survivor of the team’s top five scorers at the Olympics, breathes in. We don’t have a lot of pressure because we’re young.” “Surely all of a sudden, no one is waiting for us.”engages toymaker Marine Fouthoux, whose role will be expanded to the role of playmaker.

The latter with Eliana Robert – all-new WNBA champion – and Kendra Sherry embodying the illustrious generation of the 2001 European Under-16 Champion in 2017 and the Vice World Under-17 Champion in 2018. This is an opportunity to be able to unlock other players. The goal is to pass the course, Sandrine warned Groda at the beginning of the rally before the loss. Often, during competitions the soul is born in the team. The character is forged by experience. Thanks to all of that we will get the cup [la médaille d’or lors des prochains JO, en France] Which we’ve all been waiting for.”

“Paris 2024 is a little light in our heads. The condition is to be ready for immediate deadlines. Everything is on time.”

Jean Aimee Topan

at a press conference

Because the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are already on everyone’s mind. Unlike the men’s team, led by Vincent Colette since 2009, the French Basketball Federation (FFBB) decided to change the coach of Les Bleues after the Olympics. In October, Jean-Amy Tauban, 64, took over from Valerie Garnier after eight years of service.

France coach Jean-Amy Toubani, during a preparatory match against Belgium, in Kortrijk, September 4, 2022 (JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE / BELGA MAG via AFP)

A controversial choice because the former France Under-20 coach and Paul France had never worked among women. It is not a cheap option, He ascended upon his appointment as FFBB President, Jean-Pierre Ciotat. We are convinced that he will be able to lead Les Bleues to the highest level, living up to our ambitions, three years after the Olympic Games in Paris.”

The paradoxical beginning of his tenure did not allow him to avoid questions. For the first time at Ras Al-Azraq, he suffered a heavy defeat against Ukraine (90-71), in November, in qualifying for Eurobasket 2023. Then two more embarrassing losses, in February, against Nigeria (67-65) and China (103-70) in the qualifiers world Cup.

In Australia, things get serious for Jean-Aimé Toupane who will play his first international competition for the French. Defeats in preparation by the host country (92-88) and Japan (69-59), they will find these two nations in Group B as well as Serbia, Mali and Canada aiming to finish among the top four to reach the quarter-finals.

“Paris 2024 is necessarily the ultimate goal. We do not lose sight of it, but we must not forget about the other phases as well”Toupane was confirmed last October. Although France’s team and its coach are decimated, they will be carefully scrutinized during this first phase of the journey toward the Olympics at home.

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