Clarisse Agbegnenou takes Doha Masters under-63 kg title

French Olympic silver medallist, the top seed in her weight category, began her season in style with an ippon in the final

By ZK Goh ·

France's Clarisse Agbegnenou opened her judo season in style with an ippon win over Nabekura Nami of Japan in the Doha Masters under-63 kg final.

The Rio 2016 silver medallist, the top seed in the class, was pushed to golden score by Nabekura but triumphed after 2:41 of the extra period.

Agbegnenou's route to the final was nearly ended at the first hurdle after a first-round bye, as Britain's Lucy Renshaw pushed her to golden score before the Frenchwoman scored a waza-ari.

Japan's Ono Yoko, a two-time world champion in the mixed team event, fought her way to under-70 kg victory.

With world numbers one and two Marie-Eve Gahie and Margaux Pinot of France both suffering surprise early exits, only one of the world top five made it to the semi-finals in the Qatari capital.

That was world number three Sanne van Dijk, who lost to Ono in the semi-finals in the golden score period after receiving her third shido penalty.

Ono defeated Russia's Madina Taimazova in the final with a ne-waza takedown.

There was a shock in the men's under-73 kg final, as world number two and 2017 world champion Hashimoto Soichi was defeated by South Korea's An Chang-rim, his successor as world champion.

Hashimoto was penalised with a hansoku-make, only awarded for serious infractions of the rules, on an attempted waki-gatame armlock.

That awarded the victory to An by ippon by default.

Tato Grigalashvili of Georgia claimed victory in the men's under-81 kg. The recently-crowned European champion took down Frank De Wit of the Netherlands with a tomoe nage takedown to score an ippon win.

The Doha Masters concludes on Wednesday with the last five weight categories, including a return to action for a slim double Olympic champion Teddy Riner.