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Continuity in the renewal: the list of the French volleyball team for the Tokyo Olympics

Olympic Games 2020 – The French Volleyball Federation announced this Friday the group of 12 players who will take part in the Olympic tournament from July 24. Half of the squad was already present in Rio. But the coach Laurent Tillie had to make choices “of group” while the Blues are currently playing the Nations League.

From 17 to 12, Laurent Tillie had to decide. While the French team is in the middle of the Nations League, Tokyo is approaching on the horizon. The coach of Les Bleus unveiled this Friday the list of 12 players selected for the Olympic tournament, which begins on July 24 with a match against the United States. From the group expanded for the current competition, Tillie had to tighten the ranks and leave five players on the sidelines. The executives are, however, well present as Earvin Ngapeth, Benjamin Toniutti, Nicolas Le Goff or Jénia Grebennikov.

Six of the twelve players selected were already present at the last Olympics in Rio, during which France finished in a disappointing 9th place after a double World League / European Championship. The new generation that has arrived since then (Barthélémy Chinenyeze, Daryl Bultor…) will have the mission to bring this new breath, already seen at the last Euro (4th after a cruel defeat in the semi-final in Bercy against Serbia), or at the TQO of January 2020, which they won with flying colors.

“It’s always complicated to decide, because, as I said last night to the players, there is involvement, time spent together, joys, frustrations, emotions, we know that everyone gives the maximum, so it’s difficult to make choices that may seem unfair and misunderstood, but that you must do in all honesty and for the good of the group, “explained Laurent Tillie. This “group” dynamic led him to deprive himself of several young players (Mousse Gueye, Benjamin Diez, Théo Faure, Léo Meyer), who came to gain experience during the Nations League to embody the possible future of Les Bleus.
The only big uncertainty is that the last place among the receivers/attackers went to Yacine Louati, preferred to Thibault Rossard, who was part of the French group in Rio. Julien Lyneel, another regular in the French group, had to give up a few days ago due to injury.
The French group will leave on July 4th for Okinawa, for their final preparation and a friendly match against Iran.

The squad

1 – Barthélémy Chinenyeze – Central
2 – Jénia Grebennikov – Libero
4 – Jean Patry – Pointu
6 – Benjamin Toniutti – Setter
7 – Kevin Tillie – Receiver/Attacker
9 – Earvin Ngapeth – Receiver/Attacker
11 – Antoine Brizard – Setter
12 – Stephen Boyer – Point guard
14 – Nicolas Le Goff – Center
16 – Daryl Bultor – Center
17 – Trevor Clevenot – Receiver/Attacker
19 – Yacine Louati – Receiver/Attacker

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