Madeleine Malonga and Luka Mkheidze shine once again at the Paris Grand Slam (2 to 4 February)

By ENGIE - 13 February 2024 - 14:27


Neither of the two Team ENGIE judokas left any doubt as to their talent at the Paris Grand Slam where the world's best went toe-to-toe. Luka, who won the under 60 kg category, booked his place in this summer's Paris Olympics, and has a real chance of getting onto the podium.


Although it is not yet certain whether or not Madeleine will be on the mats on 1 August, her win over her main French adversary during the repechage and her bronze medal bode well for the future. Another medal at the next Grand Slam could seal the deal for her in the under 78 kg category.

Madeleine has already won the Paris Grand Slam on two occasions (2019 and 2020). She shared her thoughts on winning this bronze medal: “I'm delighted to have got through today. I was aiming for gold, but that's how it goes in sport – what counts is going home with a medal”.

And to justify the rage that appears to have been driving her over her last few fights: “It comes from a deep desire. It's been a long road, full of questioning. It was important that I be myself – beyond the medal, beyond the stakes at the heart of all of this”.


Luka Mkheidze confirmed his current fitness levels in Paris, three months after winning his first European Championship title in Montpellier. Luka showed astounding control and authority on the mats in each of his fights. In the finals, he beat world number four Harim Lee in the Golden Score contest in a very intense fight. This win – his first in Paris – may also earn him precious points so he ends up at the top of the series for the Olympics this summer.

On the back of this win, Luka said: “it's good for my self-confidence – I'm someone who needs to feel confident. I have people around me to help me, and that helps me perform. I have a lot of support, so I arrived feeling calm, not too tired, and motivated. That helped me a lot on the day. All the tournaments I'm competing in now are preparations for the Olympics. Competing here in Paris was excellent preparation for this summer. It's what I will experience in front of these same people, so winning was important. It sort of kicks things off, let's say”.

And as far as the 27 July deadline for the Paris Games is concerned: “Every day, I wake up and that's the first thing that springs to mind. I know that many other people are also thinking about that, and I don't want to disappoint them”