Teddy Riner considers to extend career to LA Games in 2028
France’s 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic heavyweight judo champion Teddy Riner, currently preparing to seek a third title at Paris 2024, has revealed he may continue his career until Los Angeles 2028.
Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe during a recent 10-day training camp in Rio de Janeiro, the 33-year-old judoka - who had to settle for bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Games but helped France win the first mixed team title – said: "As long as everything goes well, I can't say that I'm going to quit in 2024.
"When I see how I assimilate travel and training, it's not sure that I'm quitting in 2024, it's even more I'm likely to continue.
"Physically I feel good and the desire is still very present, so why would I stop when I love what I do?
"For the moment, I do not feel tired."
Asked directly if he might be competing at 2028 Olympics in California, he replied: "Oh yes!
"For the moment, we are on 2024, but for 2028 I did not say no."
France's Angelo Parisi won a silver medal in the heavyweight category the last time the Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984.
Riner will now prepare in Japan for the World Championships, due to take place in Doha from May 7 to 14, where he will seek to extend his gold-medal record by winning an 11th title.
He revealed that he has been improving his technique by practising ju-jitsu moves.
"I managed to incorporate techniques on the ground that will serve me for my judo," Riner said.
"The main thing is to do something qualitative, to learn new things to progress and add weapons to my scheme.
"Not everything is in place yet, but it's coming."
Asked if jiu-jitsu had ever helped him win a fight, he responded: "For the moment it hasn't materialised too much in competition but in training, as soon as I fight in ne waza, I see the difference.
"I gained in mobility and that's interesting because the opponent can't follow.
"The idea is above all to gain in speed of execution.
"That's what I'm trying to lean towards,"
Riner added that the ju-jitsu experts were careful in how they employed their techniques.
"They're not going to give us knee locks or shoulder locks too much," he said.
"They could, because on the ground, they are light years away.
"In six seconds they can fold the fight.
"But they open the game, so that we can feel the trick and so that we can progress.
"They have lots of interesting techniques but I don't take everything they show me.
"Sometimes I only remember one detail, but it may be the one that will make the difference in the Olympic final."
“On the day of the Games, whoever is hungriest will win.”