Marie Branser was eliminated by Russian Alexandra Babintseva in the round of 16 in the judo tournament at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 on July 29 in the category under 78 kg. The Congolese, tired of the lack of support from the DRC’s sports authorities, are considering taking a break from their judoka career. Maintenance.
RFI: Marie Branser, you met a difficult opponent and the fight was close to Alexandra Babintseva. What made the difference?
Marie Branser: It was mostly about strength. She is very strong physically. She was positioned as left-handed. I could not find solutions, especially since she was always at a distance. I still had problems with my hand. I put my hand down and she blocked it immediately. It hindered my efforts. We had a plan, prepared, on a par with kumikata [techniques de saisies du kimono, Ndlr]. But she did her thing. And in the end, it was she who placed the other wazari. She was the best today.
I’m sorry and disappointed today but I can not change the result. I will pause now and think about all the things that happened, all the problems I had to face, all the money I spent in judo. Because I was the one who put in the money for all the fights I participated in. I cried all the time because I just wanted to be able to work seriously. But when there are people who are not serious, it does not happen so …
Fortunately, people in the DRC have always supported me. I also want to greet and thank them. Their support makes me proud. But we need to change habits. If the people who lead want results, we must work together. […]
Specifically, what has happened to you since you defended the DRC’s colors?
(Silence) Is it normal for a double African champion to pay the costs of all her competitions? Is it normal that the president of the federation has blocked my participation in African championships? […]
There are people who have done bad things. I got no euros and gave all my money. At the end of 2020, these costs amounted to 13,000 to 14,000 euros. Since then, there have been other competitions, and we may be at 16, 17 or 18,000 euros. While I touch 450 euros per month … At the same time, I train very seriously, two or three times a day.
My family and friends have been very supportive of me. I also thank my sponsors in Kinshasa. But it also requires work from our Judo Federation and the Olympic Committee. Because otherwise I will not be able to continue. I have no more money and no more energy to handle everything.
Will you continue to represent the Democratic Republic of Congo?
(Hesitates) It was my first Olympics. It is a great honor for me to be here. I worked hard to be in Tokyo. I am disappointed not to have won a medal for my family, my friends and me, but also for the Democratic Republic of Congo. But these are the first Olympics. It’s not done. I take my time and think. But it’s not that I do not want to win a medal at the 2024 Games. I have three years to work and move on.