France’s Teddy Riner extends record with 11th world title in judo
France’s Teddy Riner earned a record-extending 11th world title in judo in his first world championships appearance since 2017.
Riner, 34, beat Russian Inal Tasoev in the men’s heavyweight final in Doha.
It marked Riner’s return to the top of a global championship podium. Since his last world title in 2017, he skipped worlds in 2018 and 2019 to rest up for the Tokyo Games.
He then took bronze at the Olympics in 2021, snapping a streak of nine consecutive Olympic or world heavyweight titles (when he competed) dating to 2009. He also won two world titles in separate open competitions without weight categories, plus took gold in Tokyo in the Olympic debut of a mixed-gender team event.
Riner, a 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is now the youngest and oldest man to win a world judo title, according to Gracenote. He also went undefeated in 154 matches across all competitions from December 2010 until February 2020.
Riner has sparingly competed since the Tokyo Olympics, but won both of his starts in top-level Grand Slams over the last two years. He missed last year’s worlds due to an ankle injury.
Next year, he can tie the judo record by winning a medal at a fifth Olympics, joining retired Ryoko Tamura-Tani of Japan, according to Olympedia.org. He can also tie the record of three individual Olympic judo gold medals held by retired Tadahiro Nomura of Japan.
Come the Paris Games, he will be older than all but one previous Olympic judo medalist and two years older than any previous individual Olympic judo gold medalist.
France also boasts the top active female judoka in terms of world titles. Clarisse Agbegnenou, 30, won her sixth world gold on Thursday.
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