Judo: Clarisse Agbegnenou prepares a shot | On the carpet!

World champion in 2014, the French is announced as the favorite in the Olympic title in the -63 kg category.

Clarisse Agbegnenou. AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON

Clarisse Agbegnenou. AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON

Clarisse Agbegnenou has several points in common with Loïc Pietri. Like Nice, she has three world medals, including one title. Like the 25-year-old judoka, the member of JC Escales-Argenteuil has a very physical judo based on the speed of travel. And as its alter-ego -81 kg, the world No. 2 63 kg fight, Tuesday, June 9, to win gold at the Olympic Games in Rio.

The comparison stops there. Because beyond her world medals, the French has many more titles to claim than his compatriot on his record. Judge for yourself: double European champion (2013 and 2014), triple French champion (2009, 2010 and 2012) and winner of multiple Grand Prix at the prestigious Tournaments of Paris (2013, 2014 and 2016), Tokyo (2013) or of Düsseldorf (2012 and 2013). Just that, at 23 years old only.

It is that Clarisse Agbegnenou is a sacred craft, a tank that nothing stops. Whoever did not see him fighting can not understand this warlike metaphor that suits his judo perfectly. A typical champion’s fight takes place as follows: she starts by placing her hands, bends her opponent who is at right angles, raises her left hand very high in the back of his opponent, passes his hip and unwinds his victim in pulling hard on his arm. If the ippon on her harai-maki-komi is not announced, she completes the ordeal on the ground. Net work, precise and without burr.

Opponents who rebel

Yes but here, By dint of ventilating in all directions, to reduce most of his opponents in lint, some began to not let it go. And to better counter it, what better than channeling his left arm overpowered and fall asleep to finally surprise. That’s what Israel, Yarden Gerbi (one of her best friends in life), understood before the others in the final of the world championships in 2013 in Rio. After managing his takeover, his opponent took advantage of a passage on the ground to place a choke that was fatal.

The revenge would come one year later, at the same stage of the competition, in Chelyabinsk (Russia). From the outset, it was Clarisse Agbegnenou who took the fight on his own and wandered his opponent before propelling it high in the air on a o-goshi (hip technique) brutal. Finally, for the first time, the French took the world gold.

Clarisse Agbegnenou, world champion -63 kg in 2014. Photo: Florent Bouteiller

Clarisse Agbegnenou, world champion -63 kg in 2014. Photo: Florent Bouteiller

Yes, but (re) here. In the world of -63 kg, Yarden Gerbi is not the only one able to hold the dragee high at the tricolor. Agbegnenou learned it at his expense. For her third consecutive World Final in 2015, she thought she had all the cards in hand to smash the Slovenian Tina Trstenjak who had never beaten her. Bad calculation … The protégé of Urska Zolnir (Slovenian Olympic champion in London in -63 kg) assaulted the French in such a way that she lost all her bearings. In the end, his opponent took the gold after having stuck the whole picture (waza-ari and yuko).

Vice-world champion in 2013, world champion in 2014, vice-world champion in 2015 … If we believe the law series, Clarisse Agbegnenou will be Olympic champion in the evening of Tuesday 9 August. At the same time as his compatriot Loïc Pietri, we hope so. Two beautiful medals that would give color to the French judo, author until then a zero pointed.