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Teddy Riner: I will be back here in 2020

9 Feb 2019 17:05

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Robin Willingham / International Judo Federation
20190209_paris_marius_vizer_teddy_riner

This may be what the Parisian public will remember from the ceremony in honor of Teddy Riner: the ten-time world champion has announced that he will return to the tatami of the Accord Hotel Arena for the Paris Grand Slam 2020. But Beyond this announcement that has delighted the 15,000 spectators beyond imagination, the French also received his sixth dan from the hands of the IJF President Marius Vizer.

Asked about his ten world titles, Teddy said: "Every world title has a special flavor. But if I had to retain one it would obviously be the one I won here in 2011, in front of my fans. I also have a particular attachment to my first world title in Rio in 2007. A first world title is always different."

The champion, however, is far from satisfied and his career is far from being over: "For the moment I am preparing to qualify for the Tokyo Games. I resumed training three weeks ago. I hesitated to come this year to Bercy to compete, but my coaches dissuaded me to fight. But I can tell you that in 2020, I will be back in front of you to add a new Grand Slam title to my list. In 2020, I want to win my third Olympic title in Tokyo, and for that, I need to prepare myself in the best possible way. The Paris Grand Slam is unavoidable."

At the presentation of his sixth dan, President Marius Vizer said: "Teddy, it is a great honor for the French and international judo family to be able to count on a champion of your dimension. You are a model for judokas around the world. I want to congratulate you for this high rank, but also for everything you have already brought to judo."

After the official ceremony Teddy Riner was led to the central tatami to his surprise. To honor ‘their’ champion, the 15,000 fans in the Accor Hotel Arena rose from their seats and sang the French national hymn ‘La Marseillaise’ a cappella for their hero. At the end of this chilling tribute, the French judo legend once again promised his return to the Paris Grand Slam next year which was welcomed by loud cheers from the crowd.

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  • Teddy Riner (FRA) - Grand Slam Paris (2019, FRA) - © IJF Robin Willingham, International Judo Federation
  • Teddy Riner (FRA) - Grand Slam Paris (2019, FRA) - © JudoInside.com, judo news, results and photos
  • Teddy Riner (FRA) - World Open Championships Marrakech (2017, MAR) - © JudoHeroes & IJF, Copyright: www.ijf.org

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