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Anton Geesink Award for Teddy Riner
13 Nov 2017 09:05
Ten times World Champion Teddy Riner was presented with the Anton Geesink Award by the Dutch Federation President Felix Thieme and the former Dutch Judo Federation President, Jos Hell. Anton Geesink was the first non-Asian who became world and Olympic judo champion in the heavyweight category. During the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964 he defeated the Japanese Kaminaga Akio.
Geesink was three time World Champion, he got 21 European titles and one Olympic gold medal. He was IOC member, honorary member of the European and International Judo Federation and was a tenth dan judoka. The Kokushikan University in Japan honored him with the honorary doctoral degree.
The Anton Geesink award has been presented until now to Jacques Rogge, to Erica Terpstra and to Louis van Gaal. The fourth award was presented today to Teddy Riner.
Jos Hell and Felix Thieme declared: “The French heavyweight Teddy Riner (27 years old) is the most successful judoka ever. He is two-time Olympic champion (2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro). The heavyweight is the only judoka with 10 world titles (a record) and he also won 5 European championships.
“Riner is the Anton Geesink of his time. He is a well-trained top athlete who has, with his charisma, an enormous impact on young judokas. His popularity is so great that he is treated like a superstar in France and Japan.
“Just like Anton Geesink in his time, Teddy has been unbeatable for years. Teddy Riner has a brilliant list of honours, charisma, and his attitude on the tatami makes him an example for all judokas and an excellent candidate for the Anton Geesink Award.“
After having received his prize, Teddy Riner declared: “Who doesn’t know the name of Anton Geesink, in the judo world but also outside of judo? He is an icon, a hero of our sport and of all sports. I feel very honored for having received that prestigious prize.“
This week the Grand Prix The Hague will be held for the first time since 2011 when the last Grand Prix in the Netherlands was held in Amsterdam.
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