The -90kg categories for men and -70kg for women were on the program this Thursday at the World Judo Championships in Doha. Marie-Eve Gahié was beaten in repechage while Alexis Mathieu and Maxime-Gaël Ngayap Hambou were quickly eliminated.
After the formidable day of Wednesday, marked by the sixth world title won by Clarisse Agbegnenou only eleven months after the birth of her daughter, the French judo team still hoped to shine Thursday in Doha, with the categories of -90kg for men and -70kg among women in the program. But it will be a second day without a medal in these Worlds. World number 5, 2019 world champion and 2022 European champion, Marie-Eve Gahié (26) was exempt from the first round and therefore had to wait a bit before making her debut in the competition. Opposed for her entry to the Ecuadorian Celinda Corozo, 41st in the world, whom she faced for the first time, she caused the abandonment of her opponent by immobilizing her on the ground a minute and a half from the end of the fight.
In the round of 16, she was opposed to the Uzbek Shokhista Nazarova (33rd), whom she had beaten last December in Jerusalem, and the Parisian only spent 26 seconds on the tatami, enough time to immobilize her opponent! A smoothly managed affair which allowed him to join in the quarter-finals the Japanese Saki Niizoe, world n°4 and bronze medalist at the Worlds last year. Gahié knew her by heart because she had already faced her ten times, but for only four victories, the last of which last December, which ended a series of five defeats. Unfortunately, the Japanese resumed her march forward, with a new success against the French, acquired after more than three and a half minutes of golden score.
The judges decided to inflict a third penalty on Gahié, who therefore saw his hopes of a world title fly away. However, he still had a chance to win the bronze medal. But the Briton Katie-Jemima Yeats-Brown, 25th in the world, whom she had beaten during their only confrontation, in 2016, put an end to her hopes by putting her ippon after 2’20 of fight. Disappointment for the tricolor clan…
No medal for the Blues
Among the men, where ambitions were lower on the French side for this day with two young people present on the tatamis, Alexis Mathieu and Maxime-Gaël Ngayap Hambou, who started their tournament in the first round. And Alexis Mathieu (23 years old), 17th in the world, was beaten from the start. Opposed to the Dutch Jesper Smink (14th), against whom he had already won and lost once, he took a waza-ari about twenty seconds from the end of the fight and could not come back. Maxime-Gaël Ngayap Hambou, who will turn 22 next month and is ranked 28th in the world, qualified for the second round by beating the Czech David Klammert (21st), who eliminated him in Paris in February last, by accumulation of golden score penalties. The Frenchman, a little hit in the ear, scared himself when he thought he had taken a waza-ari 17 seconds from the end, but it was finally canceled because he managed to turn around at the last moment.
In the next round, he challenged Cuban Ivan Felipe Silva Morales, the world No. 5 and 2018 world vice-champion, who had beaten him in Tel Aviv last year in their first fight.. The mission was going to be difficult, and Ngayap Hambou resisted for 7’22, before losing to the golden score following an accumulation of penalties. Once again, there will therefore be no medal in the French men’s clan today. Friday, the tricolor hopes will rest solely on Audrey Tcheuméo, in -78kg.