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Can Cyrille Maret be the top challenger for Teddy Riner?
10 Nov 2017 09:30
No judoka in the world has had as much randori against Teddy Riner as his teammate and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Cyrille Maret. Most judo devotees have long believed that the man that can push Riner the most in his homeland is U100kg judoka Maret rather than any other French heavyweights.
Now things have escalated after Maret jumped up to life with the big boys in October and won the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam +100kg gold medal with ease. The 30-year-old, who won all four of his contests by ippon, has now signed up for the Openweight World Championships and is likely to come in heavier than the 115kg he weighed on his heavyweight debut in the U.A.E.
There may be some momentary trepidation for Riner if he comes up against Maret as the nine-time world champion knows that the long-time U100kg campaigner knows him inside out and Riner has rarely faced a teammate at a major event and would not have his coach by his side.
It is commonplace in judo for coaches not to accompany their judoka if both competitors are from the same country.
This is one to watch out for and we may not have to wait long as there is no seeding at the Openweight World Championships.
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