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Teddy Riner compliments courageous fighter Levani Matiashvili

3 Apr 2016 22:05

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20150829_O100_final_RINER, Teddy (FRA) - SHICHINOHE, Ryu (JPN)10

Teddy Riner was at the Grand Slam of Samsun to experiment and not to rush through all the matches within a few seconds. Having the passive silhouette of the French giant moving around the tatami always attracts more attention. Calm, sober in his judo, solid on his positions, dynamic on his leg, nothing seemed to bother him during the first rounds.

Thus, comparing to other events, he spent quite a lot of time on the tatami. The ultimate favourite of the Rio Olympics, will definitely be hard to beat. Since Teddy Riner lost in the final of the Open World Championships in Tokyo in 2010 against Kamikawa Daiki, the French won more than 80 fights and more than 70% of them by ippon.

It is a courageous Matiashvili who stepped on the tatami in Samsun, jauntily trying his luck. But after a couple of strong attacks, the Riner’s pressure slowly increased and the Georgian was penalised with a shido. The end of the fight was approaching and there were still only two shido in the advantage of the French. It is only on the last second that Riner was able to launch his uchi-mata for a yuko just on the edge of the fighting area. With this victory, Riner adds an 18th victory in a row to his incredible prize list and despite the courage of Matiashvili, he remains the king.

After the final, Teddy Riner declared to the IJF: “Every competition is important. It was not my best tournament today, but I’m happy and I know what I have to improve until the Olympic Games. Honestly I didn’t expect that in the final. Matiashvili was really fighting and I love that, I need that. He took risks. Congratulations to him. I have put the injuries aside now. The next step for me is the European Championship and after I don’t know yet. I might take part in an other competition prior to the Games but it’s not decided yet. What is sure is that I’ll keep working hard, because I have a dream and that dream in 2016 is to become Olympic Champion again.“

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Teddy Riner (FRA), Roland Ferenci (AUT) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © Roland Ferenci
  • Teddy Riner (FRA) - European Championships Montpellier (2014, FRA) - © Stanislaw Michalowski
  • Levani Matiashvili (GEO) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © Roland Ferenci

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