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Chair for IJF athlete commission still an option for Teddy Riner
Chair for IJF athlete commission still an option for Teddy Riner
4 Sep 2017 09:05
by Liam Morgan of Inside The Games
IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

French star Teddy Riner could retain his position as head of the Athletes' Commission after the International Judo Federation (IJF) selected him for a role on the body. Riner, who won his ninth world title during the event here and stretched his winning run to 134 matches, was one of four athletes hand-picked for a position on the Commission by the IJF.

The worldwide governing body also chose Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo, double Olympic gold medallist Kayla Harrison of the United States and Russian Ivan Nifontov.

Antonia Moreira of Angola, Ukrainian Georgii Zantaraia, Masashi Ebinuma of Japan, Australia’s Natalie Galea and Brazilian Tiago Camilo were elected by the athletes.

All nine are eligible to become the chairperson.

An athlete to lead the Commission was not elected here due to every athlete involved not being present at the World Championships, where voting took place.

The IJF will instead conduct an electronic ballot and the winner will be announced during next month’s World Junior Championships in Zagreb, which run from October 18 to 22.

Riner, who claimed the gold medal in the heavyweight category at London 2012 and Rio 2016, served in the role for the previous four-year cycle.

The 28-year-old was not among the list of confirmed candidates when they were published last month.

But the IJF have the power to select four of the nine representatives on the Commission and have decided to keep Riner as part of the body.

Camilo, who won Olympic silver at under 73 kilograms at Sydney 2000 before claiming bronze at under 81kg in Beijing eight years later, and American Harrison were members of the Commission during the last cycle.

The Brazilian was chosen as the Pan American representative.

Kelmendi became Kosovo’s first Olympic medallist when she secured gold at under 57kg in Rio de Janeiro last year, while Nifontov won the world title in 2009 and an Olympic bronze at London 2012 in the under 81kg division.

Angolan Moreira is the reigning All-Africa Games champion at under 70kg and was elected as the African Judo Union’s representative.

Zantaraia, the current European under 66kg champion, was chosen by his fellow athletes to represent the European Judo Union on the Commission.

Three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Ebinuma was elected from Asia and 44-year-old Galea will provide the voice from Oceania.