Clarisse Agbegnenou: 'Judo's leading woman'

Clarisse Agbegnenou is an athlete to know.

Clarisse Agbegnenou: 'Judo's leading woman'
Clarisse Agbegnenou

When Clarisse Agbegnenou won her first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, she cried, sent heart symbols to the audience, and screamed once she left the mat.

The Togolese-French judoka competes internationally for France in the under 63kg category and went into the recent Olympics as one of France's flag bearers. She's considered "one of the greatest champions in the history of judo." Agbegnenou won gold at the last four World Championships and at the European Championships from 2018-2020. She's also won the national French title as well as multiple grand slam competition.

Her 2020 Olympic gold-winning competition, a rematch of the 2016 final where she won silver, "confirmed her status as world leading judo woman," according to Judo Inside.

"I’m doing some new things now, such as boxing and yoga, to help me to improve different aspects of my judo. It paid off," she told Judo Inside. "Now I’m going to take time to enjoy my medals, because I haven’t since the worlds in Budapest. After that I will take a long break. It's beautiful, look how the medal shines. She is magnificent."

How to support The Black Sportswoman

Join our free email list

Agebegnenou was born – on the same day and year as me, which is cool – in Rennes, France. She started competing at 9 or 10, and her club is Judo Club Escales of Argenteuil.

She shared in her Coffee with Celine interview that she loves cooking and shopping - handbags are her biggest weakness - as well as TV and Serena Williams, just like the rest of us. If you can read French, she recently released a children's book that's available now.

You can watch her highlights here.

Follow Clarisse Agbegnenou: