► Clarisse Agbegnenou conquers her 5th European title
Even destabilized by the postponement of the Olympic Games to the summer of 2021 and by the persistent uncertainty generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Clarisse Agbegnenou continues to make sparks in the less than 63 kg: the judoka has conquered a fifth European coronation after nine months without competition, Friday in Prague.
Promised to Olympic gold, the last title missing from her record provided, Clarisse Agbegnenou (28) did not hide having lived badly that the Tokyo Games were postponed by a year. This did not prevent her from finding the resources, even considering herself only 60% of her means, to reign once more on the continental scene.
“There is a lot of pride. It was very complicated for me to come to these European Championships. Physically it was fine, but mentally, I was asking myself a lot of questions “, recognizes the 2016 Olympic vice-champion and quadruple world champion. Until Friday, Agbegnenou had not fought since his victory at the prestigious tournament in Paris in early February. The outbreak of the new coronavirus then resulted in confinement and a long interruption of competitions.
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On the Czech carpets, she proved from her first two fights, won with authority, the first in barely 1 min 30, the second in 1 min 15, that she had not lost her hand. In the final, she left no chance for her Austrian opponent Magdalena Krssakova, sent to the mat after just 23 seconds.
Between the two, the Dutch Juul Franssen had held the shock for a minute in the golden score (the extension after the regulatory four minutes of combat, Editor’s note) before giving in on a choke.
“I wasn’t looking for the ‘perf’, I said to myself, whatever, above all have fun, have fun, get back on the mat, even if you have to take your time on matches, or if you tell yourself that you don’t be fast enough, that’s okay, it’s an exercise that you have to redo “, says Clarisse Agbegnenou.
► Margaux Pinot confirms her imprint on French judo
With this fifth continental gold medal, Margaux Pinot has made her mark even more in the history of French judo. Already the first tri-color judoka quadruple world champion (ahead of Décosse, Emane and Deydier, titled three times), she joins seven other blue fighters among the most richly decorated at the continental level, including Teddy Riner.
In less than 70 kg, Margaux Pinot (26) retained the European title, which she had won for the first time in 2019, by sending the Dutch Sanne Van Dijke in less than a minute in the final. “It’s a good thing to confirm. All you have to do is take it to the next level ”, she congratulated herself.
►Marie-Eve Gahié (23 years old), bronze medal
Competitor of Margaux Pinot in the race for the only Olympic sesame in play and reigning world champion, for the under 70 kg, Marie-Eve Gahié (23 years old) had to be satisfied with the bronze medal.
” I am really happy, said Marie-Eve Gahié. In a particular year it is not the gold medal, but I bring back a medal. Lots of people are penalized by the crisis we are going through, it’s a chance to be able to fight, especially in championships, it’s nice. There were hard times but I stayed focused until the end, I didn’t get angry. Competition is part of the game, I take it as it should be taken, that’s what makes our victories beautiful. “