Feature | Judo

Clarisse Agbegnenou: "I am going to do everything to be Olympic champion"

The four-time world champion French judoka joined the Olympic Channel Podcast for an in-depth interview ahead of the 2020 European Judo Championships. She talks Tokyo 2020, ambition, and why she believes in her Scorpio character traits.

By Ed Knowles ·

Clarisse Agbegnenou is 28 years old and is one of the most consistent achievers in the world of judo.

She’s a four-time world champion and an Olympic silver medallist.

Tokyo 2020 was not just an ambition – it was her life.

When the postponement news was announced, it hit Clarisse hard.

“It's out of my control - this I don't like,” she said to the Olympic Channel Podcast whilst wagging her finger.

“I think when we are [in] top spot, we like to have everything under control.”

2020 European Judo Championships

Just a few weeks before her entry into the 2020 European Judo Championships, she still hadn’t made up her mind whether she would attend the event in Czech Republic.

“I am in a really bad period. I have [had a] bad period. Sometimes I'm OK, sometimes it's coming back. So it's really hard for me to endure it, but I'm working on it.”

She is one of the 17 French fighters on the entry list.

The tournament should provide some normality for the athletes in a year filled with surprises.

“I really hope that the world's going to come to normal soon because we really need to have a normal situation.”

READ MORE: The Olympic Channel guide to the 2020 European Judo Championships

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Agbenegnou was in top form going into 2020 and is the reigning world champion in the -63kg.

She found it hard to let go of the sacrifices she had made in her life after the postponement was announced.

“I have [been] training and I want to be a big champion… So all of these moments that you are losing, and it's hard to say, but for now in my head, for nothing.”

After a few months, she has perspective. But there is still some lingering doubt.

“Of course, it's not for nothing. But when you are this moment, in this point in your life, you're like, ‘Oh my, I missed all of these good moments for nothing.’”

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Clarisse Agbenegnou the Scorpio: ‘I bite’

Clarisse is a Scorpio and she is a believer in Zodiac signs.

One of the character traits of that particular sign is ambition.

“It's true that I’m really [a Scorpio] because if it doesn't go in my way and I bite! I bite really, really hard!”

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Despite the difficult year, she is determined to remain hungry for success.

“When I want something, I'm going [for it] like hundred percent even more to have it.

“And it's like, ‘OK, I want to be Olympic champion’. [Then I’m] going to do everything to be Olympic champion.”