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France's president seeks a top-5 medal ranking for his country at the Paris Olympics

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron told top athletes Tuesday he hoped that France will reach the top five of the Paris Olympics medal table but added, “I don't want to put excessive pressure.”

Macron visited the national judo team, and in a speech to the National Institute of Sport and Performance urged “exemplary organization” of the games.

The French leader told coaches and athletes that “our Olympic top five goal is more than ever achievable.” France will have a record delegation of about 800 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, he said.

Macron told the national judo team: “It’s about willpower. It’s about being more hungry than the others. You are, aren’t you? You’d better be! You don’t have a choice. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, at home, in front of a home crowd.”

The Paris Olympics are from July 26 to Aug. 11, and the Paralympics are from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

The French president listed security, public transportation and accessibility as top challenges for the Paris Olympics.

“The terrorist threat is still there, on the French soil,” Macron said. About 30,000 police officers will be deployed every day, and France’s military plans to contribute 15,000 soldiers.

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Read more of AP coverage of the Paris Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games