Teddy Riner will be attending the Grand Prix in Tel Aviv, the first World Tour event of 2020. The French phenomenon wasn’t in Tokyo nor Qingdao for the Grand Slam and Masters in Asia, but will be expected in Tel Aviv. The 10 time World Champion and double Olympic Champion is hunting his third Olympic title and the record of Tadahiro Nomura.
Riner is considered as the best judoka in the world and certainly the most influential in this decade. The Grand Prix will be held for the second time in Israel. The event will be held from 23-25 January and will include Sagi Muki, the current Israelian World Champion. At the Masters in Qingdao he was in a unique picture with Saeid Mollaei, the 2018 World Champion who recently was guaranteed a Mongolian passport after he fled from Iran at the 2019 World Championships and was a refugee in Germany. However for now Mollaei is not confirmed to attend in Tel Aviv. Muki invited him as spectular match up U81kg and Israelian Judo Federation President Moshe Ponte was in Mongolia to invite Mollaei.
Masters in Doha
The Grand Prix will be full of judo stars who need the points for the Olympic Qualification that runs until end of May with the Masters in Doha, Qatar.
Until today 341 athletes will fight in Tel Aviv from 59 countries including Olympic medallists, world and European champions. Among the athletes also the IJF Refugee team including Syrian refugee Ziad Aun (U66kg), who fled from his country three years ago and now found a home in the Netherlands. Previously another refugee from Iran, Mohammad Rashnonezhad, who lives and trains in the Netherlands said he’d be fighting in Tel Aviv.