Amelie Guihur was born 7 February 1994 in Rennes, France. She has competed in the -57kg weight category in Judo and has now moved down to the -52kg weight category. As part of the French team, Amelie won the silver medal at the Belgrade European Open in 2017 and silver medal at the Junior Porec European Open in 2012.
She won the World silver with the French junior team in 2013 and 2014. Amelie captured the gold medal in Leibnitz twice as a junior. She has multiple medals from other European Open and European Cup tournaments.
How old were you when you got started with Judo? Tell us about how you got into the sport?
I started judo at the age of 11. I have done other sports like gymnastics, horseback riding and cycling. But I didn’t get into them as much as with judo. From the very first training session I loved it.
You’ve represented France for many years, and have had many successful results. Now you’re going to be representing Bulgaria in the upcoming Olympic cycle. Tell us more about that.
Yes I am now representing Bulgaria and I am very proud of it. Many years I was in the French judo team, but due to an injury I was fired. I had asked at the time if I could represent another country other than France but it was refused. I was blocked for 3 years, with the ban to fight. So I decided to stop judo, to concentrate on my professional life and to continue with sport but nothing more.
Then I came to live in Bulgaria (my boyfriend is a Bulgarian judoka) and the judo federation contacted me and proposed that I get the nationality and to fight for Bulgaria and I accepted. I know that it is a great chance to get a passport in one year and to be able to start again at a high level. I hope to bring back beautiful medals to Bulgaria.
As a full-time coach and athlete, how do you balance the lifestyle?
This is not easy because I am a sports coach, a judo coach and a high level athlete. This makes a very busy schedule. It takes a lot of organization to reconcile everything.
Which weight category will you be fighting in?
I will fight in the under 52kg category.
When is your next competition?
My next and first competition with Bulgaria is the European Senior Championship. Which will take place in Bulgaria, in Sofia.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for a fight?
I work with a mental trainer with whom I already worked when I was in the French judo team. It helped me a lot.
What are your pre-competition rituals? Do you carry any “lucky charms” with you?
When I was young I had many rituals and good luck charms with me for competitions. But over time, I only kept a cross with me. I’ll tell you in the next few months if some of them come back. ahaha
Tell us about your short-term goals (this year) and long-term goals (next Olympic cycle)?
I started training again only a few weeks ago (and I can confirm that judo is not easy) so my goals this year will be mainly at the end of the year like the World Championships in October. And of course, to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and get a medal.
What are the main differences between Judo in France and Judo in Bulgaria in terms of training sessions and sparring partners?
Judo in France is a very popular sport so there are many judokas and so many competitors. It is difficult to have a selection when there are 10 girls of a great level in the same category. You have to prove every day that you are the best. This puts a lot of pressure on us every day. The training sessions are like here in Bulgaria, fighting sessions, technique, physical preparation (muscle strengthening, cardio, weight training) there are just more people on the mat.
What is your most memorable moment in Judo?
My two best memories are my title of vice European junior champion in Croatia. I didn’t expect it at all, it was only a few months since I arrived in the French judo team. And my title of French Senior Champion, where I had a very difficult draw with 6 fights in the day.
What do you love the most about Judo?
The competition. If I could only do competitions it would be great hahaha. But without training it is impossible to perform.
Does anyone else in your family do Judo, or is it just you?
My father did judo when he was young. He had a good level in France. It was him who suggested I try.
When you’re not busy with training or coaching, what do you usually do?
I love going to restaurants, but it’s not good for my 52kg weight category… hahah I love shopping and visiting my new country. There are so many great places to see.
Tell us about your likes and dislikes? We know you love cats!
Yes I love cats, and all animals in general. I was part of animal protection associations when I was in France and I continue to help here in Bulgaria if I can. I like to watch movies, travel and sleep.
I don’t like to wait, I don’t like to get up early, I don’t like diets.
Anastasia-Alexandra Nenova interview with Amelie Guihur for Sports Star.
Athlete Amelie Guihur, former French -57kg and currently representing Bulgaria in the -52kg weight category.
- Instagram: @amelie_guihur
- Facebook: @agevcoaching
Interviewed by Anastasia-Alexandra Nenova
- Instagram: @madeinbulgariaxx
- Facebook: @madeinbulgariaxx