Judo: Towering Teddy chases "pressure for perfection"

Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:29pm EDT
 
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By Amy Tennery

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - France's Teddy Riner - all 6 foot 8 inches and roughly 300 pounds of him - was basking in the Olympic glow on Sunday after adding yet another golden moment to his impressive resume.

Riner crushed Hisayoshi Harasawa of Japan in the men's +100kg category final on Friday, extending his six-year unbeaten streak in a career that includes eight world championship and two previous Olympic medals, including another gold at the 2012 Games.

His success makes him among the most visible athletes in the sport of judo. It is a position that inevitably leads to added expectations.

"It’s not a bad pressure," Riner told Reuters. "It’s a good pressure for perfection."

It is perhaps this pressure that puts Riner on alert for new contenders on the horizon.

"This competition is very hard," Riner said. "This season on the circuit I had a lot of new fighters (to contend with) - for me, it is exciting."

Even so, Riner, who was his country's flag bearer at the Games, laughed off questions about his long-term future.

"For the moment, I want just a holiday, sea, sun," he said.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

 
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Victory Ceremony - Men +100 kg Victory Ceremony - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 12/08/2016. Teddy Riner (FRA) of France poses with his medal. REUTERS/Toru Hanai