In a Paris Match report published on Thursday, Teddy Riner reveals that he tore the outer ligament in his knee five months ago. But his recovery was quick.
On Saturday, August 31, Teddy Riner has the opportunity to make history by winning a fourth Olympic medal and a third title in a row, after his 2012 coronations in London and 2016 in Rio. In Tokyo, the 32-year-old French judoka will be eagerly awaited in his + 100kg category, even if he has not fought since January 13 and his victory at the Grand Slam in Doha and he only occupies the 16th place in the world due to his many periods of absence. In Tokyo, Teddy Riner has an appointment with history, but everything could have ended in February during an internship in Morocco. This Thursday, Paris Match publishes a report on the Olympic preparation of the French champion, and we learn that he tore the outer ligament of the knee five months ago. During a training fight, the two-time Olympic champion fell, and his injury required three weeks of total rest and two months without judo, without anyone, or hardly, knowing it. “I resented my coaches, Franck Chambilly and Laurent Calleja, I was tired. I wore a harness, followed the rehabilitation to the letter, it was out of the question for me to give up the Games. It’s one of the toughest times of my life, ”Riner told the weekly.
– Teddy Riner (@teddyriner) July 19, 2021
Riner not seeded in Tokyo
But the French judo star managed to get out of the tunnel and will therefore be present on the tatami mats on August 31. Not seeded because of his low ranking, he could face formidable opponents in his first fights such as the Russians Tamerlan Bashaev and Inal Tasoev, world No. 1 and 5. Recall that on February 9, 2020, just before the start of the coronavirus pandemic which led to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics for one year, Teddy Riner lost his first fight after 154 victories, against the Japanese Kokoro Kageura, who did not then failed to qualify for the Games. Suffice to say that the competition will be tougher than ever for the French champion.