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Clarisse Agbegnenou quadruple World Championships queen
28 Aug 2019 16:45
Clarisse Agbegnenou won her fourth title to enter the record books as France’s first woman to win four world judo titles. Agbegnenou won an epic rematch of the 2018 final as her arch-rival and three-time world medallist Tashiro Miku (JPN) gave the defending champion one of the toughest fights of her illustrious career. In Tokyo the Budokan applauded laudly for the two women for the display of such balanced masterpiece.
Tashiro, who trailed their head-to-head series 1-9 coming into the final, knew what to expect and blocked the powerful attacks from her familiar foe and had some moments of her own but both U63kg standouts failed to score in regulation time.
With the crowd on the edge of their seats, the battle continued into golden score and it was clear that something special would be needed to win the world crown for this year. Both judoka were totally spent as the clock passed seven minutes of golden score and a total of 11 minutes of contest time, and just as the momentum appeared to be turning towards the home judoka, Agbegnenou dug deep and exploded forward with a o-soto-makikomi for a waza-ari.
The crowd showed their appreciation for the tremendous efforts of the two who remained flat on the mat due to exhaustion after the score was awarded. As the tears flowed for Agbegnenou, she was quick to hug her opponent while both were on their knees and the immense level of respect between the two was one of the most powerful moments of the competition so far.
In the first semi-final Tashiro defeated Olympic champion Tina Trstenjak (SLO) for the first time having lost all eight of their previous bouts. Trstenjak was disqualified after just one minute and a half for endangering the left arm of her opponent and was relegated to the bronze medal contest while the Japanese advanced to her second World Championships final.
In the second semi-final Agbegnenou saw off 2018 world bronze medallist Juul Franssen (NED) by a waza-ari score. The French star had to work hard to overcome a spirited Franssen and managed to progress by the smallest score possible to guarantee a medal for France.
The first bronze medal went to former European Games winner Martyna Trajdos (GER) as her would be opponent Trstenjak could not participate having been disqualified in her previous contest with a direct hansoku-make.
The second bronze medal contest was an all-Dutch affair as Franssen pocketed her country’s first medal of the competition. Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Sanne Vermeer (NED) lost out by a waza-ari score as Franssen matched her result from last year and solidified her place as the Netherlands’ number one in the U63kg category.
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All eyes in the category for women U63kg are on Clarisse Agbegnenou. She is going for her fourth world title. French powerhouse Agbegnenou, 26, is a three-time world champion and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist. She will start as the favourite and will write her name in the history books if she can retain her title and become the most successful female French judoka of all time at the Worlds. Read more
One thing is for sure the women’s U63kg weight class at the European Games will have the best field possible. A world level field with World Champion Clarisse Agbegnenou and Olympic Champion Tina Trstenjak lined up as always with their unstoppable hunger to fight each-other. At the Paris Grand Slam it led to a giant clash decided by the French world champion far in the extra time. Read more
Three-time world medallist Tashiro Miku of Japan claimed Japan’s first gold medal at the Baku Grand Slam 2019 as the Japanese number one extended her perfect winning record over Olympic champion Tina Trstenjak of Slovenia. Read more
The draw at the Grand Prix of The Hague delivered some fine first round matches. With two world champions in the field and 412 participants coming from 62 nations the second edition of the Grand Prix in Holland almost doubled its participants field compared to last year. 242 Men and 170 Women will battle for the medals and valuable points for the qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Read more
Dutch Juul Franssen won her second Grand Slam gold medal with a victory over Agadir Grand Prix winner Andreja Leski (SLO) in the -63kg final. World Championships bronze medallist Franssen extended her head-to-head record over the Slovenian to 2-0 with a measured performance as she countered a tired tai-otoshi attempt from Tokyo 2020 candidate Leski to roll over her adversary after four minutes of golden score for a match-winning waza-ari. Read more
Carine Ngarlemdana (CHA)
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