Judo : Teddy Riner will offer a 10th world title !


Teddy Riner exults after defeating the judoka belgeToma Nikiforov in the final.
© FADEL SENNA / AFP/ FADEL SENNA

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The superstar of the judo world Teddy Riner has enriched his monumental victories with the tenth crown of champion of the world, conquered in all categories, Saturday in Marrakech. By reaching the symbolic “decima” (eight titles in the +100 kg, two in all categories), French (28 years old) prints even a bit more his footprint in the history of judo, and the sport in general : it remains on 144 consecutive victories. His last defeat dated back to more than seven years. Specifically, the September 13, 2010, in the final of the World all categories in Tokyo, in the face of the Japanese Daiki Kamikawa, on the decision of the arbitrators.

Already the judoka most titled to the World (men and women combined) since his eighth victory in 2015, the double olympic champion of heavy weight (2012 and 2016) has added two more in the space of two months, at the beginning of September in Budapest (+100 kg), and then Saturday in Morocco. He can now look confidently towards his ultimate goal : to get a third sacred olympic straight to the country of judo, in Tokyo in 2020. Never before seen in the heavy. Only one judoka has managed this feat : the Japanese Tadahiro Nomura in the -60 kg (1996, 2000 and 2004).

Saturday, the day of the colossus (2.03 m, 142 kg) started with a first bout careful with the Kyrgyz Iurii Krakovetskii, won in golden score. The big piece was presented as early as the second round, with the fierce Georgian Guram Tushishvili, who had made it falter in the semi-final world to Budapest. Riner has brilliantly crossed the barrier after a spectacular fight – to the image of the first waza-ari, first announced ippon, when the Frenchman did whip his opponent after only a minute of a duel – and physical. We saw Riner the hands on the knees at the approach of the end of the fight. He then beat the Tunisian Faicel Jaballah in the third round, the Mongolia Temuulen Battulga in the quarter-finals, the Cuban Andy Granda in the semi-final and then the Belgian Toma Nikiforov in the final.

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