9:44 p.m., February 06, 2023
The ten-time French world champion Teddy Riner won a seventh victory on Sunday in the Paris Grand Slam by beating the Japanese Hyoga Ota in the final. A winning return for the French judoka who was coming back from a long ankle injury, a difficult moment and to which he returned exclusively on the show Europe 1 Sport (every evening from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.).
Thanks to this victory in the final of more than 100 kilos, the athlete joined her compatriot Lucie Décosse at the top of the list of this tournament with seven coronations. But for him, the main thing is not there: “When I come to this Tournament (from Bercy), especially after my injury, my head was not at the record. It was at “how I will position myself in relation to to the competition”, “am I going to continue to go up crescendo in terms of sensations”, he explained at the microphone of Céline Géraud.
“The wound is behind me”
Injured several times in the ankle, Teddy Riner often doubted his return. The judoka with a well-stocked track record confessed at the microphone ofEurope 1 Sport have called on a psychologist to regain motivation. “I was afraid of never regaining my feelings. So, there’s a headache, go to the shrink. Me, the good man that I am, who wants to go faster than light and find my judo as much as possible to prepare for the Games, of course it works up there”, confided the latter.
A return to the tatamis that he even had trouble realizing: “When I was given the green light to resume, I said to myself: “but what am I doing here?” Now, the tenfold world champion is well and truly determined to return to the top. “The injury is behind me, we will continue to progress and work,” assured Teddy Riner.
Goal Olympic Games
And it is abroad that Teddy Riner has decided to go to train for a few months. A default choice due to the lack of opponents in training in France. “It’s a bit complicated when I see the Olympiad that I spent in Tokyo despite the Covid. I had very few opponents on the mat at Insep. So, on reflection, we said: “We are going to go abroad, we are going to find the competition where it is”, justified the judoka.
Teddy Riner now has his eyes set on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. But according to his coach, the champion is not yet at his full capacity despite his victory in Paris. An opinion shared by the main interested party: “He is right. We have come a long way. My feelings took a long time to come back, and today I have not yet resumed my best judo”, he conceded. . At 18 months from the big meeting of the Olympic Games, the Guadeloupean estimated himself “at 70%” of his capacities, made this Paris 2023 tournament an important step in his preparation. The French judoka, however, wanted to reassure his fans: “The old man is there”.