Teddy Riner’s Olympic Path: A Stepping Stone in Antalya, Turkey

After his eighth record success at the Grand Slam in Paris at the beginning of February, Teddy Riner marks his Olympic path at the tournament in Antalya, Turkey on Sunday, a new and perhaps final “stepping point” towards the Grail hoped for this summer.

Towards the new peak he wants to climb, a third heavyweight title after 2012 and 2016, Riner is proceeding in stages. Tournaments so as not to skip the steps, to “see where he is in terms of preparation”, explains his coach Franck Chambily to AFP.

In Antalya, it will be a question of observing “his state of form” but also “the competition with foreigners”, because in the perspective of the Olympics, “there is nothing better than competition”, supports his coach .

At almost 35 years old, the candles he will blow out on April 7, Riner is no longer the same as at his “top level”, which Chambily places in 2012, and we must therefore make choices: “Teddy cannot go in all competitions, because it costs him psychologically.”

The choice has not yet been made but Antalya could be the Guadeloupean’s last outing before facing his grandiose challenge, on August 2 at the Arena Champ-de-Mars facing the Eiffel Tower, to assert his status as monument of French Olympism.

Internship in Japan, Worlds in Abu Dhabi?

After Turkey, this dizzying climb will take him to Japan from April 21 to May 4 for a preparation course. Then, depending on the result in Antalya and his physical condition, he will also choose whether or not to participate in the Kazakhstan Grand Slam (May 10-12) or the World Championships in Abu Dhabi (May 19-24).

In the meantime, in addition to a certain sweetness and possible grilled fish, Riner comes to seek confidence as well as points in the Olympic ranking on the shores of the Mediterranean.

In the event of victory, he will provisionally climb among the eight seeds. A status which generally allows you to have one less match at the Olympics and to meet less difficult judokas during the first rounds. In Tokyo, he was not and ended up disappointed, with bronze. In front of the Parisian public, he wants to put all the chances on his side for his gold rush.

Frenchman Teddy Riner arrives to fight South Korean Kim Minjong in the +100kg final during the Paris Grand Slam judo tournament, in Paris, February 4, 2024 / EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP/Archives

In the Turkish seaside resort, Riner also has the opportunity to measure himself against potential competitors for the Olympic coronation: the Finnish Martti Puumalainen, 2023 European champion and winner of the Masters the same year, and Tatsuru Saito, the 22-year-old Japanese selected for the Games, 2022 world vice-champion. He could face them respectively in the semi and then in the final if the logic is respected.

He will start his day against the Bahraini Azamat Chotchaev, who should not pose any difficulties… if logic is respected.

2024-04-01 02:45:35
#Antalya #Olympic #stage #point #Riner

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