Tolstoy said that all defeats are equal because of the bitter aftertaste they leave. He forgot to write that some are also beautiful. Some taste like victory. Clarisse Agbégnénou and Yarden Gerbi are friends, but before, long before, their’s was one of the biggest rivalries in the history of judo. Take the two best in any sport and have them compete and then you will understand why the highest level is a matter of talent and hard work, reserved only for the best.

For five years Yarden and Clarisse were the alpha and omega of women's judo, the time signature of the -63 kilo category. Yarden is older and was already the best when Clarisse burst onto the pro circuit. The rest are indelible images, memorable fights, always ending with gold in between. The story of these two women is the truth of a tatami and the honesty of a fight, without respite, without doubts, giving everything because winning is one thing, but doing it against the best is something very different. It was as well the forging of a perennial friendship.

Today Yarden is retired and Clarisse is enjoying a long vacation and budding motherhood. Today Yarden follows Clarisse's fights with the affection she professes for her because the former rival is now her protégée. Today Clarisse watches with interest and admiration Yarden's take-off in the business world, in that other life that begins when elite sport ends.

This interview lasted more than an hour, nobody really wanted it to end, they both have a good time together and make others feel comfortable. This video is a small sample focused on the beautiful and brutal confrontation that they starred in for five years, a tribute to judo at its best. Have a check, you won’t regret it.

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