Judo Fighter Who’d Won 154 Matches In A Row Over Ten Years Finally Loses
Judo champion Teddy Riner has finally been defeated, bringing his 10-year winning streak to an end.
The 30-year-old Frenchman had racked up an incredible 154 straight victories since September 2010, but his run came to an end yesterday, February 9, when he went up against Japan’s Kokoro Kageura.
The pair went head to head at Grand Slam Paris, an international judo competition and part of the International Judo Federation’s Grand Prix series, where they competed in the over 100-kilogram heavyweight category.
Check out the winning move here:
Riner defeated Kageura at their first meeting in Montreal last year, but this time the Japanese judoka was determined to take his opponent down. Kageura won by countering the French fighter with a hand throwing technique known as ‘uchi-mata-sukashi’ during the third round of the Grand Slam.
The move came 40 seconds into ‘Golden Score’, which occurs when the contest time runs out and neither opponent has scored, or when the score is tied.
Kageura’s win came as a shock to the crowd, who could be heard exclaiming when Riner went down.
Throughout his career, Riner has become a two-time Olympic champion and a 10-time world champion. Though his winning streak has officially come to an end, Riner is expected to defend his Olympic title at the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The judoka spoke about his loss after the fight, admitting he’d rather end his streak now than at the Olympics.
Riner told AFP:
If this happens at the Games I’ll be annoyed. Better this happens now than then.
Before yesterday’s competition, Riner had been on track to challenge retired judoka Yasuhiro Yamashita’s record of 203 consecutive wins.
Riner went on to admit the loss took some weight off his shoulders, saying:
I’ll tell you another thing too. It’s a relief in a way. Counting wins as I closed in on Yamashita’s record was really heavy.
Though his streak is over, the 30-year-old’s record still ranks alongside some of the greats of the sporting world.
Speaking to CNN in 2017 about his love of judo, Riner said:
I tried a lot of sports, judo, football, basketball, tennis and swimming. But I love judo because of the spirit of the sport, I love to fight.
In this sport, you search for the ippon (winning throw) and I like this because it’s difficult, it’s not an easy sport.
You search for a beautiful technique, for a beautiful ippon.
Defeating a 10-time world champion is an incredible achievement for Kageura; it’s nice to see Riner has taken the loss well!
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