We had left them, a little earlier, on the verge of tears, but determined after their defeat against the United States in the semi-finals (18-16). Marie-Eve Paget, Migna Touré, Laëtitia Guapo and Ana Maria Filip finally left the Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo with immense regret, beaten by China (16-14), Wednesday July 28, during the match for the bronze medal in 3×3 basketball, the discipline which made its appearance at the Olympics.
Faced with the reigning world champions, the French basketball players, double European champions, spent the ten minutes of the meeting chasing the score, success having abandoned them for too long minutes. If Migna Touré survived the shot (8/11), her teammates were limited to a single successful shot until two minutes from the end.
Led by five points (14-9) two minutes and twenty seconds from the siren, the French women nevertheless believed in it to the end. Coming back to 14-12, then 16-14, they even had the opportunity to equalize on the last possession, as against the United States in the semi-finals. But this time, it was not a missed shot, but a pass sent directly into touch that ended their hopes.
🏀 Chinese women’s team in 3×3 basketball wins bronze China deprives France of a b medal… https://t.co/94mGIl0AP2
Announced favorites, the Blues lived five contrasting days in Tokyo. They fell from the start against the Americans (17-10), before winning their second match against Italy in pain (19-16), then to follow with two defeats against Japan (19-15) and China (20-13). What make them doubt. ” We weren’t lying when we said that our main adversaries are us », Summarized Marie-Eve Paget, the French leader, who hoped to find a way out “Of this negative spiral”.
Three victories in the last three group matches have allowed them to revive and approach the quarter-final against Japan a little more calmly. A fourth success in a row (16-14) allowed the French to validate their ticket for the semi-finals, ” there where [elles voulaient] to be “, as Captain Ana Maria Filip explained, who especially thought of not leaving “With the chocolate medal”.
Same remark in the mouth of Marie-Eve Paget, at the microphone of France TV, after the cruel defeat suffered against the United States in the semi-finals, Wednesday: “We deserve to come away from this competition with a medal. We didn’t do everything we did to come away with the chocolate medal ”, she said, drawing on the French experience in this type of situation.
In 2018, and especially in 2019, where the four players were already there, the France team had experienced disappointments in the semi-finals before conquering the world bronze. For this first Olympic, they will have to be content with the most frustrating of places.