A queen in Hungary. Before becoming one in Japan? Clarisse Agbegnenou marked the history of French judo a little more by winning this Wednesday in Budapest a fifth title of world champion. The road to a first Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games this summer (July 23 – August 8) now seems wide open. In Hungary, the 28-year-old Frenchwoman won a fourth consecutive world title, beating the Slovenian Andreja Leski on ippon in the -63kg category. Now five-time world champion and five-time European champion, Clarisse Agbegnenou, who had failed in the final of the Rio Olympics in 2016, has only Tokyo in mind.
“I am moved because it’s a very difficult year, it was hard to get into it,” she says as she leaves the tatami mats. I only have one goal left now. I was not supposed to go to the world championships. I am happy to leave with five stars. I’m proud of what I’m doing because this year has been really tough for me. I thought about it before coming here. I wanted all or nothing, and then I thought to myself that I should try to get those five stars because I don’t know what will happen in Tokyo, if I could get the medal. “
Already crowned at the 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Worlds, Agbegnenou is no longer very far from the three most successful judokates in the history of the world championships: the Japanese Ryoko Tani, the Chinese Wen Tong (7 titles each) and the Belgian Ingrid Berghmans (6). Above all, it is second in France, behind Teddy Riner (10) and ahead of David Douillet (4). With this victory, it also offers the French team its first medal at these world championships. “I haven’t been seen much this season because the postponement of the Olympics last year was a massive blow,” she says. Lots of people supported me. I thank all the people who help me on a daily basis. “