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Riner has a complete other preparation as in 2021

Riner has a complete other preparation as in 2021

14 Jun 2024 14:55
IJF Media team by Jo Crowley and JudoInside
Tamara Kulumbegashvili - IJF

Teddy Riner is 35 years old and about to compete in his 5th Games. Telma Monteiro (POR), Ryoko Tani (JPN), Robert VandeWalle (BEL) and Driulis Gonzalez (CUB) have five participations. Teddy Riner (FRA) and Idalys Ortiz (CUB) and can get equal at five.

Riner is the most successful judoka ever in the history winning two Olympic titles in 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio and bronze in 2008 in Beijing and 2020 in Tokyo. Olympic gold medal with the mixed team of France. He can equal three Olympic titles in the individual tournament by Tadahiro Nomura (1996-2004).

He’s never left without a medal but this Games feels different. He has the experience to know he can do it but that experience also reminds him of his bronze medals, of his opponents’ expertise; the likes of Bashaev (AIN) and Yusupov (UZB), who can throw him and have proven so in recent years.

Following a dynamic win in Dushanbe in May, Teddy Riner reclaimed a spot in the world top 8, perfectly timed as the World Judo Tour events of this cycle were nearing their end. With a third individual Olympic title within reach, just weeks away, and the potential to become the greatest Olympic athlete in judo history, there's much at stake for Big Teddy.

In preparation for the Olympics, Riner decided to compete three more times after Dushanbe, not in major tournaments like the Kazakhstan event or the world championships, but at smaller competitions: the African Open in Marrakech, the Madrid European Open, and soon, the final points-scoring event in Lima, Peru. Although each event offers only 100 points, Teddy aimed to fill his remaining slots and gain energy from his new coaching team member. Unfortunately, one slot could only be filled at the Masters or continental championships, which had already passed. Despite this, he continued to fight, practicing, moving, throwing, and embracing his reputation more than ever before.

Riner’s strategy also involved securing a favorable Olympic seeding, potentially avoiding a draw against Inal Tasoev (AIN), with whom he shared the gold at the 2023 Doha World Championships. Unusually, Japan is sending their contender, Tatsuru Saito, to Lima as well. With only 30 points separating them, Saito aims to earn enough points to potentially avoid both Tasoev and Teddy in his Olympic draw. As the qualification period concludes, Teddy’s renewed approach and enthusiasm for judo are evident. When Teddy enjoys judo, he becomes the most formidable judoka on Earth, and currently, The Frenchman is relishing every moment of his judo journey, making him a formidable force for the upcoming Olympics.

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