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Agbegnenou, Gahié and Pinot in the last square!

Clarisse Agbegnenou (-63kg), Marie-Eve Gahié (-70kg) and Margaux Pinot (-70kg) all qualified for the semi-finals of the European Judo Championships in Prague, with at least one medal guaranteed. However, there will be no medal this Friday on the men’s side.

After the three medals won on Thursday during the first day of the European Championships in Prague (gold for Shirine Boukli in -48kg, bronze for Sarah-Léonie Cysique in -57kg and Kilian Le Blouch (-66kg), the French delegation hoped to do at least as well this Friday, with in particular the presence on the tatami mats of the quadruple world champion and quadruple European champion Clarisse Agbegnenou (28 years old) in -63kg. The only tricolor in the category, she qualified without any problem for the semi-finals. The day started off perfectly for her, with a victory over ippon after only 1’29 against the Romanian Adelina Dobre, then another still on ippon after 1’14 against the Polish Angelica Szymanska. So here she is in the semi-finals against the Dutch Juul Franssen, double world bronze medalist, whom the French beat in their four fights.

A Franco-French final in -70kg?

The -70kg category is one of the most successful in French women’s judo today, with the world title held by Marie-Eve Gahié and the European title by Margaux Pinot. That’s good, both have qualified for the semi-finals! At the top of the table, Gahié (24 years old in one week) won her first two fights on ippon: in 1’58 against the Croatian Barbara Matic and in 3’50 against the Portuguese Joana Crisostomo. She will challenge for a place in the final the Dutch Sanne Van Dijke, whom Pinot had beaten in the final of Euro 2019 in Minsk. Pinot (26 years old), in fact, struggled a little more during the morning. She first needed the golden score to beat Greece’s Elisavet Teltsidou on ippon after 6’05, then a waza-ari to eliminate the German Miriam Butkereit. Her opponent in the semi-finals will be the Italian Alice Bellandi, 2018 world junior champion.

A day to forget on the male side

In -73kg, Guillaume Chaine, the only French in the category, was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Winner over ippon after 3’16 over Romanian Adrian Sulca, he then fell against Switzerland’s Nils Stump, on a waza-ari. He will not be drafted. The adventure also came to a hasty end for Nicolas Chilard, the only tricolor under -81kg, who was taking part in his first Euro. He suffered an ippon after 4’45 of fighting against the Bulgarian Ivaylo Ivanov, vice-champion of Europe. No draft for him either. Hopefully things go better on Saturday on the last day for the French men’s delegation, with Axel Clerget in -90kg, and Cédric Olivar and Alexandre Iddir in -100kg. No Blue will compete in the + 100kg category, Teddy Riner being absent.