Tokyo (AFP)

French volleyball has in its pocket the Olympic medal it had always hoped for thanks to the victory over Argentina 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22), in the semi-final Thursday in Tokyo, and Earvin Ngapeth's gang will now try to win gold against Russia.

This summit does not seem accessible on Saturday because the Blues have already beaten the Russian giants, who are playing under a neutral flag, last week in the pool.

It is thanks to this victory (3-1) that they had also remained alive in the tournament after a disastrous start (two defeats in three matches).

It was certainly the only misstep in Tokyo of Maxim Mikhailov's teammates, impressive the rest of the time and especially against the Brazilians, crowned in 2016 (and finalists of the last four editions), unceremoniously dismissed Thursday at the beginning of the following day. noon (3-1).

But the precedent will count in French heads.

This assured podium has a famous taste of revenge for the Blues.

Revenge on the Argentines who had put them on the edge of the abyss by beating them 3-2 in the pool, revenge also on the fate and the cruel experience of 2016 in Rio, where they had been eliminated from an extremely tough group (like this year ) by a combination of circumstances despite two victories (as in Tokyo).

Facing Argentina for a place in the Olympic final was a good deal.

The South Americans had multiplied the exploits (against the United States and Italy) but probably by putting themselves in over-regime.

Euphoric too since their victory over Poland, double reigning world champion, in the quarter, the French have not let it pass.

French volleyball player Jean Patry against Argentina in the semi-final of the Tokyo Olympics, August 5, 2021 Yuri Cortez AFP

Laurent Tillie's players gave the impression that the game could not escape them.

Stronger in all areas, the attack with Jean Patry, Trévor Clévenot and Barthélemy Chinenyeze, in reception, in defense, they evolved a class above during the three sets.

Everything seems possible in the final on Saturday.

As long as the Russian heavy weapons jam a little in the service, the Blues have the means to derail them for good and write the most beautiful page in their history.

© 2021 AFP