Two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka Teddy Riner keeps a “low profile” as he skips the International Judo Federation (IJF) world championships this year, but promises to return to the Tokyo Olympic mat this year.
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Riner is the only judoka to have won 10 medals at the World Championships, including eight gold medals, but does not participate in the Nippon Budokan in the current championships. The 6’8 ” French giant, who has won 148 consecutive fights in the over 100 kg category, will return to action next summer at the Tokyo Olympic.
He told the Olympic Channel: I wanted to set myself the last challenge, which was to win a third Olympic gold medal in Tokyo Olympic, where everything started for my sport, but also for me. I remember when I was younger I was coming here to face the best judokas and, today, I am among the best, and I know that I am marked and some want to take my place.
Riner is in Tokyo Olympic, in his role as chairman of the IJF Athletes’ Commission, and was also honored at the federation’s gala last week. His appearances at competitive events recently have been sparse – he fought at the recent Montreal Grand Prix, his first tournament in 18 months, but still won.
Riner admits he would have liked to have fought in Tokyo this week, but is instead of keeping himself for next year, however, he warned his rivals that even if he victories a third Olympic gold, he will not halt there.
If I manage to win gold at Tokyo Olympic, I’ll have no problem coming back to the World Championships and facing whoever I have to. The IJF World Championships conclude, with inside the games providing live blog coverage of every day of action in Tokyo Olympic.
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