The one-year time lag of the Tokyo Games could prove beneficial to some. Starting with the French men’s handball team, which will have more time to work.
Be careful, an obvious prerequisite, but it should be recalled in the preamble to this article, it will never occur to anyone to rejoice in the dramatic coronavirus pandemic that is hitting the world. This is not the subject. Simply, since this Tuesday and the official announcement of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, it is permissible to wonder if certain athletes could not, with their bodies defending and very involuntarily, take advantage of this additional delay in order to be able to appear in the Japanese capital with much better assets than if the Olympic High Mass had been maintained at its initial dates, from July 24 to August 9. Among these, in France, the gaze can only turn to the men’s handball team, which we left moribund last January. Eliminated as it was on 1er around the Euro through Norway and Portugal.
Since then, water has flowed under the bridge. The coach, Didier Dinart, has given way to his assistant, Guillaume Gille, and he has surrounded himself with new members of his staff. Half a palace revolution, therefore. But before imagining being able to take advantage of this additional working time, Gille wanted to emphasize the absolute necessity of this postponement, as he confided on the Federation website: “There is a lot of uncertainty about the development of the virus in countries of the world in which it has just spread. The postponement, given the health situation in the world, seems obvious to me. ” An opinion shared by his players, including Luka Karabatic, who took the time to respond to Le Figaro: “I had been wondering for a few days how it would be possible to organize the Games when we see everything that is happening in France and in the world. It seemed untenable. So I think it’s really good that it’s offbeat. This will allow each athlete to focus on this health crisis, with one less concern. Because even if the most important thing today is health, the Games still remained in a corner of our heads. “
True sporting comfort, as Valentin Porte also explained to us: “If we got out of confinement in mid-May for example, that meant that we had two or three weeks maximum to recover after two months without anything, which would have been an additional stress before competing in the Olympic Qualification Tournament (TQO). The fact that the Games are postponed takes away a first thorn in the side regarding the players’ physical condition. ” “This TQO had become a real concern,” confirms Karabatic. One day we were told that we would have to play it behind closed doors, and then afterwards it was postponed without any date. All of these uncertainties were already complicated to manage. ” Today, even if no date has yet been advanced, it still seems obvious that the Blues will have time to prepare it well.
From where this feeling that this postponement can prove to be beneficial, a term returning in the remarks of Porte as of Karabatic. Thus, the former readily admits that “for us, this is not bad news in sport. With the new staff in place, we would have had very little time to prepare for the TQO deadline. There, with a year more, it should give us time to work well, to evolve certain aspects of our game. It can only be beneficial, I’m sure. ” An opinion supported by his Parisian partner: “It is certain that we must always try to look at the positive in each situation. That’s what I’m trying to do too. So it’s true that the French team was in a somewhat special, unprecedented situation. We were in a failure during the last Euro and this TQO arrived at a crazy speed. We realized that we were only going to have a few days of preparation to prepare for this very tough tournament (against Spain, Tunisia and Portugal). Having more time to train, to make our mark with the new staff, this can only be beneficial for our team. “
Now the reigning champion of nothing, the French team has time to rebuild themselves and to resolve the problems that arose during the last Euro, and even before, on and off the pitch. Not to mention the question of those who wanted to retire this summer, like Michaël Guigou and Luc Abalo, and who might be tempted to continue. “I don’t know what their decision will be,” admits Karabatic on the subject. However, for the youngest, it does not change much in 2021. ” A year to raise your head will not be luxury even if, before the Tokyo Games, will take place in January 2021 of the World Championships which could serve as the first life-size test. Unless the TQO is inserted before in the calendar. Like what, all the calendar uncertainties have not yet been settled. “But we can see a little more clearly anyway,” concludes Porte with hope.