In Marseille, Tony Estanguet switches from one sport to another
A two-day visit, which began on Tuesday 22 March and continued on Wednesday. Two days to smell the sea air, to talk about sailing, and to repeat once again that the 2024 Summer Games will not only be for Paris, but for the whole of France.
It is too small, too low-ceilinged and poorly ventilated
In Marseille, then. But, as expected, the president of the Paris 2024 OCOG could not avoid the question of the moment, even several hundred kilometres from the action: Hall 6 of the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles, scheduled to host the preliminary round of the Olympic basketball tournament.
Chosen as a replacement site at the end of 2020, after a rewriting of the Olympic system, the hall does not please the international basketball body, FIBA. It has become since last week the target of criticism from several of the best French players, runners-up in the Olympic Games last summer in Tokyo.
“How can we accept to see basketball, the most popular team sport at the Olympics, being sent to the Parc des Expo? The ceiling is too low, the room is not suitable,” New York Knicks player Evan Fournier said on his Twitter account. “I’m not going to play in a room where I hit my head when I shoot,” said Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz in an interview with L’Equipe.
In the face of the controversy, fuelled by French players who have never set foot in the room in question, Tony Estanguet wants to reassure. (more…)