« I cannot reword »

En exclusivité pour Midi Libre, Blandine Pont, la judoka formée à Castelnau-le-Lez, évoque le sentiment d’injustice ressenti après avoir appris, sur un parking lors d’un stage, ne pas être retenue pour le championnat d’Europe du 3 au 5 novembre à Montpellier. 

Est-ce que le fait de ne pas être sélectionné pour le championnat d’Europe à Montpellier est décevant ?

It’s not just a disappointment, it’s a disillusionment because I believed I deserved my place. Apparently, that’s not the case.

Pourquoi avez-vous opté pour cette méthode de communication en publiant un message sur vos plateformes de médias sociaux pour exprimer votre opinion sur cette décision, comme vous l’avez fait mardi dernier ?

Many people around me, including my partners, staff, and even the general public, have asked me about my non-selection for the Euro. I needed to clarify things so that these people are informed. It was also a way for me to express my disappointment and try to get answers to my questions.

Est-ce que cela vous dérange autant la décision en elle-même que la façon dont elle vous a été annoncée ?

The manner in which this was done is unacceptable. I should have been individually informed and given an explanation before it was shared on social media. I believe this shows a lack of respect for our work and for me as a person. Furthermore, I don’t understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Did you think that, in addition to the selection of Shirine Boukli from Gardoise, you could aspire to participate in this European championship in the -48kg category?

La sélection de Shirine Boukli est incontestable, ce n’est pas le sujet. Je pense qu’il aurait dû y avoir deux judokates sélectionnées dans ma catégorie au regard de mes résultats récents.

I need to have a conversation, receive explanations, express my point of view, and also defend my identity as an athlete and as a woman.

Did you get in touch with the French Judo Federation?

I requested, along with my club from Red Star Club in Champigny-sur-Marne, a meeting with the selection committee to obtain direct explanations.

Est-ce que vous pensez qu’il est possible de modifier la décision ?

No, I don’t think it’s possible. However, I need to have a discussion, receive explanations, express my point of view, and also defend my identity as an athlete and as a woman.

Avez-vous obtenu de l’aide depuis que vous avez publié votre message ?

I have received a lot of messages. I didn’t expect such a big response from the general public, French and foreign athletes from all sports combined. I think that if so many people are questioning the fact that this decision is incomprehensible, then I am justified in speaking up and asking for explanations.

If there are any consequences, I will take responsibility and remain dignified.

Croyez-vous que ce message puisse avoir des répercussions négatives lors des prochaines élections ?

I wanted to defend my identity, my rights, and try to understand. I believe it is legitimate and that all athletes would have done the same. I don’t see why there would be consequences for future selections. If there are, I will take responsibility and remain dignified.

Does the fact that the European championship takes place in Montpellier, in your city, add to the disappointment?

Of course. The competition will take place five minutes away from my house. I have been preparing for it for over a year. When I found out it was in Montpellier, it gave me a lot of motivation to try to be a part of it.