The second edition of the 2023 French Veterans Championship took place in Paris a few days ago. It closed a sporting season that saw 14 tournaments being held in France, (7 'A' labelled competitions and 7 labelled 'Excellence'). For this last event, around 700 judoka from 38 to 78 years old were present in the French capital.

This last year progress has been massive since between 2022 and 2023 400 more competitors took part in the event.

For Philippe Taurines, former coach of the French Olympic team and Cathy Arnaud, 8th dan and world champion, "It was an exceptional second edition. The sporting level increases each year. We saw very tactical and committed matches, beautiful podia, magnificent medals, top-notch France Judo logistics and a lot of conviviality.”

Corine Viroulaud-Cucchiara, member of the board of directors of France Judo, in charge of the Veterans National Commission, addressed a message to all participants, “You were fantastic! And all in the joy and good humour that also characterises our veterans' movement. We only had positive feedback from this beautiful event!"

Jean-Luc Bartoli, who is responsable for the National Commission for Veterans, said, "The veteran spirit that we have been cultivating for years has allowed us to once again experience exceptional moments, exchanges and sharing. During the tournament we honoured our two ambassadors, Françoise Dufresne, 71 years old, and Yves Rousselin, 78 years old; judo has no age."

Next year, the third edition of the competition will take place on 22nd and 23rd June and 2024, with the return of Para Judo, as in 2022.

Long live judo, long live the veterans!

Photos © Jean-Luc Bartoli and Thierry Albisetti