CHELYABINSK, Russia, Aug 28, (AFP): French-woman Clarisse Agbegnenou and Avtandil Tchrikishvili of Georgia led the European fightback to Japan’s dominance by winning gold medals at the Judo World Championships in Chely-abinsk on Thursday. Twice European champion Agbegnenou gained revenge on Israel’s Yarden Gerbi, who beat her in the world final last year in Rio. The 21-year-old, whose coach Larbi Benboudaoud, himself a former world champion, describes as a “bulldozer” on the mat, produced one of the throws of the day to beat Gerbi for under-63kg gold. Agbegnenou slipped her arm around Gerbi’s waist before thrusting her hip across the front of the 25-year-old, hoisting her off the ground and head over heels onto her back with a perfect o-goshi (hip throw) for the maximum ippon score.
Afterwards Adgbegnenou said her target would be the Olympic gold medal in Rio in two years time. And she put down her tenacity to having grown up with three brothers, including tennis-playing twin Antoine. “I can’t believe it, I’m stunned, it’s fantastic,” she exclaimed. “When I found out I would fight her (Gerbi) in the final I told myself: you have to get your revenge! “I’ve got three brothers and that can only forge you. You’re the only girl, you don’t have a choice, you have to take the war to them or you’ll get eaten alive! “I have a force with my twin. I’ve never been alone, I have a protector. It’s enriching.”