French star Clarise Agbegnenou gave the home crowd exactly what they asked for when she won gold in the -63kg category on the opening day of the Paris Grand Slam. Spurred on by the cheering Bercy faithful, Agbegbebou made short work of Japan’s Tashiro Miku in the final, scoring yuko with left o uchi gari then following up with kesa gatame for ippon. ln putting away Tashiro, the 21 year old Japanese number one, Agbegnenou put a shine on what up to that point had been a less than stellar day for the home fans. When asked about the importance of her win Agbegnenou answered, "It was the best thing that the day ended with the French national anthem. It makes all the difference to the team to have a gold medal and I am pleased to have been able to win for France and my team and end on a high note.” From a personal point of view it will also be pleasing for Agbegnenou to have won in Paris. "There really is nowhere like Bercy for atmosphere. My family and so many of my friends are here and that helps to motivate me,” said Agbegnenou.
In a field that contained 8 of the world’s top ten fighters, Agbenenou came away looking at her devastating best. "For me it’s particularly important because it’s a new year and one always wants to start the new year with a win and a good feeling. said Agbegnenou. With regard to her win over Tashiro, Agbegnenou said, "I was really pleased to defeat Tashiro in newaza. It is very difficult to defeat Japanese women in newaza."
It is no secret that Agbegnenou has her sights firmly set on this summer’s Olympic Games. "The focus is all on Rio now and I am working on ways to stay calm in the lead up to the Games, said Agbegnenou. When asked about what is next on her agenda Agbegnenou answered, "I am taking things step by step and I think that the European championships will be my next competition."
|-60 kg1. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN) 2. MUSHKIYEV, Ilgar (AZE) 3. KHYAR, Walide (FRA) 3. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)||-48 kg1. GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ) 2. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) 3. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN) 3. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)|
|-66 kg1. EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN) 2. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) 3. AN, Baul (KOR) 3. LE BLOUCH, Kilian (FRA)||-52 kg1. KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS) 2. CHITU, Andreea (ROU) 3. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA) 3. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)|
|-73 kg1. AN, Changrim (KOR) 2. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS) 3. AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN) 3. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)||-57 kg1. KIM, Jan-Di (KOR) 2. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL) 3. MALLOY, Marti (USA) 3. SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)|