World champ Agbegnenou starts new season with gold
January 13 2021 12:18 AM
World champ Agbegnenou
Clarisse Agbegnenou of France (in white) in action against Nami Nabrkura of Japan in the 2021 Doha Masters at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall yesterday. Pictures: Jayan Orma and agencies

Reigning world and European champion Clarisse Agbegnenou of France started the new season on a winning note at the International Judo Federation’s 2021 Doha Masters at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall yesterday.
Agbegnenou, who won her fifth European title in Prague on November 20, defeated Nami Nabrkura of Japan in the final to win the -63kg category gold.
“I am very happy because it was really tough. It is nice to start (the season) like that but I would keep in mind that I need to do a lot of work and to be ready for the Olympic Games,” Agbegnenou said.
Agbegnenou, the silver medallist at the Rio Games in 2016, is getting ready for the Tokyo Games.
“I am already qualified for Olympics. I wanted this competition to see myself what I can do and assess myself to know what I need to work on. This event gave me confidence that I can put up my level and I can work on other things. I have good motivation and power so I have to stay like this. Definitely, I have to improve a lot and work on new techniques,”Agbegnenou said.
The four-time world champion Frenchwoman praised Qatar for hosting the event successfully during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is really hard what is happening to the world, but Qatar is organizing this event really well. We wanted to see this country more and I hope we can see it in good times because it seems really beautiful.” The bronze medals of the category went to winner of the Tbilisi Grand Prix Sanne Vermeer of the Netherlands and Andreja Leski of Slovania.
In the -70kg women’s category, Yoko Ono of Japan claimed the gold medal. She defeated Russian Madina Taimazova. In the final, Taimazova resisted well during regulation time, but the golden score period was too much for the young Russian, who had to suffer a defeat by hold down.
In the men’s -81kg category, reigning European champion Tato Griglashvili, from Georgia, defeated Frank De Wit of the Netherlands. The final seemed rather balanced for most of regulation, but following a slight injury, De Wit seemed slightly distracted. It helped Grigalashvili take advantage of the situation to throw him before applying an unstoppable arm lock.
2018 world champion South Korean Changrim An claimed the gold medal in the -73kg category. He defeated Soichi Hashimoto of Japan in a tough final.  
At the end of regular time no point was scored and the athletes entered golden score, where they continued to neutralize each other’s moves.
It was only after three minutes and 43 seconds of extra time that Hashimoto applied a dangerous technique - for which he received a Hansoku-make (defeat by grave infringement) - and An won the third gold medal for Korea in the event.
Both of Qatar’s judokas crashed out yesterday morning. Khalil Rabahi and Morad Zemouri, both participated in the men’s -81kg event, but failed to get past their rivals in the first and second round respectively.
The 28-year-old Zemouri, who represented Qatar at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and had a first-round bye, lost to Dominic Ressel of Germany in the second round. The 23-year-old Rabahi lost to experienced opponent world No 19 Anri Egutidze of Portugal.
The men’s under-100kg and over-100kg, and women’s under-78kg and over-78kg bouts will be held today.  

Men’s -73kg
Gold: Changrim An (Korea)
Silver: Soichi Hashimoto (Japna)
Bronze: Igor Wandtke (Gewrmany), Turave Khikmatillokh (Uzbekistan)
Men’s -81kg
Gold: Tato Griglashvili (Georgia)
Silver: Frank De Wit (Netherlands)
Bronze: Ivaylo Ivanov (Bulgaria), Sagi Muki (Israel)
Women’s -63kg
Gold: Clarisse Agbegnenou (France)
Silver: Nami Nabrkura (Japan)
Bronze: Sanne Vermeer (Netherlands) Andreja Leski (Slovania)
Women’s -70kg
Gold: Yoko Ono (Japan)
Silver: Madina Taimazova (Russia)
Bronze: Kim Polling (Netherlands), Giovanna Scoccimarro (Germany)

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