After six years of absence, Teddy Riner has gleaned his eleventh world crown and already wants to turn to the 2024 Olympics.
Just over a year from the Olympic Games at home, Teddy Riner was crowned world champion in the +100 kg, winning at the age of 34 an eleventh world judo title after one of the most difficult days of his career. , Saturday in Doha.
“I really hope it will pay off in Paris 2024 but it can only pay off when you have days like this“, reacted the Frenchman. “It’s been a long time since I heard a Marseillaise on a world podium, it feels good.»
A return to the top
Six years after his last appearance on the planetary scene, Riner came to Qatar with the desire to test himself in contact with the best judokas. After six fights and more than 28 cumulative minutes spent on the tatami, he was served.
The Guadeloupean beat the Russian Inal Tasoev in the final, who was competing under a neutral flag, winning by waza-ari during extra time. With this title, he brings France a second title in this edition of the Worlds after that of Clarisse Agbégnénou in -63 kg, and in total a seventh medal. “This waza-ari at the end, it’s a pleasure“Blowed Riner, who according to his trainer was only at 60% of his abilities.
To get out of it, Riner mainly appealed to his psychological resources, he revealed. “I think it’s one of the biggest days of my entire career. No rhythm all day, so what do we use? The mind is all that’s left. The body is on red alert. So when judo, the sensations are not there, you have to appeal to the mind. The brain guides the rest.»
A difficult day
The French had however been impressive in the semi-finals by dispatching in less than thirty seconds the Tajik Temur Rakhimov, world No.1 in the category.
In the previous round, he emerged victorious in the long-awaited fight against the Japanese Tatsuru Saito, 1.91 m for 165 kilos and vice-world champion. If he failed to score, he ended up ing the new Japanese sensation on penalties after 3 min 40 of overtime.
Withdrawn from the 2022 edition due to an ankle injury which occurred last summer, the Frenchman, who had only been able to play an individual tournament since, was not seeded and therefore had to p by a first round. An already sluggish fight against the Romanian Vladut Simionescu, 25th in the world.
He then dominated the Polish Kacper Szczurowski, sanctioned with three penalties before winning, again on penalties, against the Mongolian Tsetsentsengel Odkhuu, ranked 4th in the world in the +100 kg category and winner in February of the Grand Slam from Tel Aviv. “I’m also happy to see that my body is responding well, I asked him to hold on and he did.“, he rejoiced.
The 2024 Olympics in the back of your mind
The Guadeloupean had not participated in the world judo meeting since his tenth coronation in 2017. Injured, he had to give up the 2022 edition and returned to business in February by winning the Grand Slam of Paris.
He will aim for a third individual title in Paris. “That’s good, we’ve achieved a big step. Now a little rest and we’ll get back to work very quickly. It’s going to happen quickly but we still have a little time“, he estimated.
“Teddy is world champion for the eleventh time but that does not change our program. He would have lost, it didn’t change anything“, added his trainer Franck Chambily. “The goal is the Games.»