At the recent world judo championships in Doha, Teddy Riner of France secured his 11th world title, breaking records in the heavyweight men’s division. This marked Riner’s first appearance at the world championships since 2017, and he beat Inar Tasoev of Russia in the finals. After winning his last world title in 2017, Riner skipped the 2018 and 2019 championships to rest for the Tokyo Olympics. He won a bronze medal at the Games, securing his ninth consecutive Olympic or world heavyweight title since 2009. Riner also won two world titles in separate non-weight division open events, plus a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics mixed team competition.
Riner has had limited opportunities to play since the Tokyo Olympics, but in the past two years, he has won both of his top-level Grand Slam appearances. He missed last year’s world championships due to an ankle injury, but according to Olympedia.org, he could win a medal at his fifth Olympics next year and match the judo record held by retired Japanese athletes Ryoko Tani Tamura. He could also match the record of three Olympic judo individual gold medals held by Japan’s Tadahiro Nomura.
In addition to Riner’s success, Clarisse Agbeninou of France, age 30, won her sixth world gold medal at the championships, making France the country with the highest number of world titles among active women’s judokas. In the future, Riner will be older than all but one previous Olympic judo medalist and two years older than the previous Olympic judo individual gold medalist. Olympic Talk on Apple News follows Riner’s journey and provides updates on his record-breaking achievements.