Romain Valadier-Picard, class of 2025, won a bronze medal at the European Junior Judo Championships in Porec (Croatia). At just 18 years old, the lightweight judoka from ESILV, newly qualified in the junior category, is climbing on the podium of the Junior Europeans, despite having been out of competition for eight months.
The European Junior Championships took place from 4 to 6 November in Porec, Croatia. The French team captured seven medals, including a bronze medal for Romain Valadier-Picard, a student at ESILV, the general engineering school of the Pole Leonard de Vinci.
? Championnat d’Europe juniors Porec (Croatie), 2020 – jour 1
Superbe journée hier avec 3 médailles remportées par l’…
A competition that is worth its weight in gold
This year, the French national coaches chose to send 19 athletes from France to compete in Croatia, the only international competition to have been maintained in 2020, due to the health crisis.
Romain is an ESILV student, European champion in the 58kg weight class and vice-champion of the 2017 Cadet World Championships in Kazakhstan.
At the Europeans, Romain marked a double-first: it was both his first participation in the -60kg weight class and his first participation in the junior age category in an international competition.
“This competition was for me the first one in almost eight months. The last one was in February: it was the French junior championship in 55 kg, that I won. So I’m thrilled to see that even by moving up a category I was able to do judo”, the medallist confesses.
After five matches, 4 of which he won, Romain came 3rd in the European ranking.
A golden competition for this young French champion, who splits his time between training and engineering school classes.
“First and foremost, this medal is the recognition of my work. Every day I have been training hard to live such moments. It’s not always easy, and some days I have to make sacrifices on certain things.
I train and work on weekdays, and at the weekend I do my best to make up for the missed classes. So I don’t have a lot of time to sit on my sofa. But it doesn’t matter, it’s the life I’ve chosen to live, and it’s the one that brings me such performances”, explains Romain Valadier-Picard, student of the class of 2025 at ESILV.
“In the end, all the more reason for savouring this bronze is that it reinforces my decision to join the Insep school. I was hesitant for fear of being too light for such competition, but in the end, I adapted quickly, and I have progressed.
So, for all these reasons, I am pleased about this victory, even if it is only bronze. Being satisfied with me is something that happens very rarely to tell you how incredible it is. That’s just the beginning. The work goes on”.