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French judoka Teddy Riner damaged cruciate Ligaments In February

French judoka Teddy Riner damaged cruciate Ligaments In February

22 Jul 2021 10:55
Christian Fidler

France's judo superstar Teddy Riner, who is aiming to win a historic third heavyweight title at the Tokyo Olympics, has revealed he tore cruciate ligaments in February. The injury, which Riner and his team kept quiet, prevented him for practising for two months. Teddy Riner will be fighting against Austrian Stephan Hegyi in his first fight and may be opposed to 2016 Olympic medallists Or Sasson of Israel in the second round and both in the same pool with World silver medallist Tamerlan Bashaev.

A France Televisions documentary, to be broadcast on Thursday, shows Riner injuring his left leg in a bout during a training camp in Morocco.

"That was when I did the cruciate," the 32-year-old judoka told AFP after a press screening.

"I thought I was going to be out for seven months and that it was screwed. It all happened so quickly, and I said, 'ouch, that hurts, it hurts'."

Riner said when he returned to France, doctors warned him he would be sidelined for up to three months.

"I said 'no, that's not possible'," he said. "I counted on one thing - that throughout my career, whenever I have had injuries, when I'm told it will take four weeks to get better, I'm generally healed in two weeks."

Riner is attempting to become the first heavyweight to win three Olympic titles.

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