French king RINER becomes double Olympic champion

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 12, 2016: After seven days of extraordinary intensity, the Olympic judo tournament ended tonight with the coronation of the two French, Emilie ANDEOL and Teddy RINER. It will now take a bit of time to measure the impact of this week of judo and digest all the emotions procured by the 390 athletes from 136 delegations who have walked on the tatami of the Carioca Arena 2. The judo has spoken for itself but it is worth adding that the week has been a great success both in terms of organisation and in terms of results as well as for the quality of the public and the atmosphere within the arena which was packed every day of the tournament.

Marius VIZER, IJF President, could be satisfied tonight at the end of the competition.

“We witnessed a fantastic event over the whole week,” said VIZER. “136 delegations and 390 participating athletes, it was already a record. We beat a second record with 26 countries on the podium. I’m happy for our sport. I want to thank the judo family for all the work during the past four years. In the months and years to come we will still work harder for the popularisation and development of judo. I wish to congratulate all medalists and all the athletes who had qualified. I thank the International Olympic Committee and the Organising Committee of Rio 2016 Games, the spectators and all media. We will see you in four years in Japan, the birthplace of our sport and very soon on the events of our IJF World Judo Tour.”

It is difficult to select the highlights because there were important moments every day, from the first clashes on Saturday, August 6 until today. The Games are the Games, they are at the same time a competition like any other and a totally different event in its scope and its ability to transcend the favourites as well as the fiercest outsiders. Each Olympic champion has his or her own history which built a man or a woman of exception. Let us remember the names of the 14 heroic champions of Rio 2016:

60kg MUDRANOV, Beslan (RUS)
-66kg BASILE, Fabio (ITA)
-73kg ONO, Shohei (JPN)
-81kg KHALMURZAEV, Khasan (RUS)
-90kg BAKER, Mashu (JPN)
-100kg KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
+100kg RINER, Teddy (FRA)

-48kg PARETO, Paula (ARG)
-52kg KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS)
-57kg SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)
-63kg TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)
-70kg TACHIMOTO, Haruka (JPN)
-78kg HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
+78kg ANDEOL Emilie (FRA)

All the results are available at:

Russia succeeded in being again among the best nations with two titles in the men’s categories: MUDRANOV and KHALMURZAEV. BASILE splashed the tournament with his freshness and audacity in winning the -66kg title. The Japanese ONO showed the way to the beautiful Japanese judo in fashion, having a total control over his opponents from beginning till the end of the competition. BAKER doubled the lead for Japan with a second gold and TACHIMOTO added a third title, which propelled Japan to the top of the medal ranking after a disappointing campaign in London four years ago.

lso in men’s action, the overwhelming victory of KRPALEK after a difficult beginning in the morning session was nice to watch. Meanwhile PARETO, small in size, but a great performer and human being, already a medallist in Beijing in 2008, came this time to win the Olympic title while she is still the reigning world champion.

What about KELMENDI who won the Olympic title that everyone predicted for her, and she did it for the first time for Kosovo, her country of birth. Recognised in 2012 by the IJF, Kosovo was recognised by the IOC in 2014. Historic moment!

We will also remember the title of SILVA in -57kg at home. Born in the poverty and violence of the City of God, a favela of Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian reached the top of the world. TRSTENJAK could impose her power and her tactics and became Olympic Champion after having been crowned World Champions in 2015, while the American HARRISON left no chance to all the other athletes and proved to be the best judoka of her generation in -78kg after repeating her performance from London here in Rio. To finish, there were two more categories to compete today. In the women’s +78kg ANDEOL proved to be the best of the best defeating the top seeded competitors and RINER confirmed that he was still the king.

In the medal table, Japan led the way with three gold medals and an impressive haul of other medals (silver: one – bronze: eight, allowing Japan to win 12 medals from a total of 14 engaged fighters, a record at the Olympic Games judo competition. Second among nations, France had a phenomenal rise in this last day of judo by winning both titles in men and women. Third this year, Russia had long been in the lead with two gold but the country still remains on the podium and produced a superb performance. The final medal table is available at

With these fantastic results judo establishes an historical record of countries that have medalled at these games with 26 nations to beat the record of 23 which was set in London.

+78kg: ANDEOL wins France’s first Rio 2016 judo gold as she upsets defending champion
Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Emilie ANDEOL (FRA) ruled the sport and the world on the last day of judo at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the outsider beat the world champion and Olympic champion back-to-back to take a sensational Olympic gold medal which at the time was France’s first in judo at this Games.

ANDEOL, 28, was seen as a potential medallist coming into the competition but few imagined that the French heavyweight would star alongside her legendary teammate Teddy RINER (FRA) on day seven. Chants of ‘Emilie’ echoed around the Carioca Arena 2 as she faced defending Olympic champion and top seed Idalys ORTIZ (CUB). After the four minutes of regulation time ended with a shido apiece and scoreless, the gold medal was decided in the unlimited period of golden score. Current Olympic and world champion ORTIZ, who was profiled in the IJF #JudoForTheWorld video series earlier this year, got caught after three minutes of added time as ANDEOL fell into position onto the favourite and pinned her there for the longest 20 seconds of her life. The surprise win sent the large French contingent into raptures as they still had RINER to come in the men’s heavyweight final.

ANDEOL, who was pounced up in celebration by teammate and current world champion Gevrise EMANE in the mixed zone, said: “Well, I can’t believe it. I had nothing to lose, honestly. This morning was very difficult, but I did what I had to do and here I am Olympic Champion.”

ORTIZ is now the owner of a full set of Olympic medals (bronze in Beijing, gold in London, silver in Rio) was pleased with her performance and result.

The Cuban hero said: “”I am very happy with this medal, because it means that I now have a full set of Olympic medals. In the final there was one error that I made, I came out of rhythm. The French opponent made use of that. I still was very well prepared.”

In the first semi-final ANDEOL defeated world champion YU Song (CHN) by ippon with a neat piece of ashi-waza which really opened up the category and guaranteed France one more medal as they chased down the leading nations in the medal table. In the second semi-final ORTIZ – who like in London was wearing hair braids in the colours of Cuba – downed world bronze medallist YAMABE Kanae (JPN) by a yuko to confirm her third consecutive Olympic Games medal.

The first +78kg Olympic bronze medal contest opposed YAMABE and European champion Kayra SAYIT (TUR). YAMABE was a clear winner by a waza-ari and turned to the crowd and her supporters to celebrate and recognise their support. The second +78kg Olympic bronze medal fight saw YU mount a fightback as she bounced back from her semi-final disappointment to defeat Asian Championships winner KIM Min-Jeong (KOR) by ippon. Top seed YU won China’s second judo bronze medal of the competition and their team will look to build on this at their home leg of the IJF World Judo Tour, at the Qingdao Grand Prix in November.
+100kg: Unbeatable French king RINER double Olympic champion
Eight-time world champion Teddy RINER (FRA) won his second Olympic Games gold medal as his London 2012 exploits were matched at Rio 2016. RINER, 27, is unbeaten since 2010 and is the most dominate male athlete in world sport as he has won title after title and ripped up the record books to truly be in a league of his own. The Frenchman had never faced Paris Grand Slam winner HARASAWA Hisayoshi (JPN) before and the Japanese heavyweight was regarded as the strongest contender to RINER having been undefeated from 2014 until May 2016.

HARASAWA, who was preferred for the Games to double world silver medallist SHICHINOHE Ryu (JPN), was penalised for a gripping infringement and received a second shido moments later before RINER himself was penalised for passivity. The Japanese challenger held his own in the gripping and both judoka avoided taking any significant risks as the heavyweight final was settled on shido penalties 1:2 in favour of the Frenchman who was greeted after the awarding ceremony by the president of the French NOC.

RINER said: “Today is a big day, for my life, because I have a new gold medal. I am very happy for my family and for my friends. This Olympiad has been very hard because I had an injury. Today I won. It’s a big dream.”

“These fans (consist) of a lot of family and friends and its good for me. Each competition is a new start. I like my sport, I like the challenge, and I like the gold medal. I don’t know. But for the moment and the next few months, I am on a holiday.”

Silver medallist HARASAWA said: “I was expecting to get a gold medal, but I found I have to practice more and learn more. In the final I was thinking and concentrating on a certain part of the contest, but I got a shido (penalty) so it was tough for me to continue fighting.”

In the first semi-final RINER beat Or SASSON (ISR) in a rematch of the European Championships final which produced the same outcome. SASSON held his own as he frustrated RINER until the very last second when the heavyweight phenom drove the Israeli over for a last-gasp waza-ari score. The contest was all level and heading into golden score until RINER stamped his authority on the contest and secured a place in his second straight Olympic final. In the second semi-final HARASAWA defeated Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist Abdullo TANGRIEV (UZB) as the charge of the Uzbek was dented by Japan’s latest heavyweight hope. HARASAWA put one foot in the final when he scored a yuko but it was the inaction of his opponent rather than the action of the Japanese which determined the winner as TANGRIEV was penalised four times for passivity.

The first +100kg Olympic bronze medal contest pitted TANGRIEV against London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Rafael SILVA (BRA) who was the last man standing for Brazil on the tatami as he became the hosts’ first male Olympic judo medallist this week. After both for penalised for their tentative start, it was the home judoka who came up with the score as his yuko proved to be the only score of the contest. The second +100kg Olympic bronze medal contest saw SASSON (ISR) return to winning ways as he beat Pan American Championships bronze medallist Alex GARCIA MENDOZA (CUB) on shido penalties 1:2 to send the Israeli team hope with two hard-earned bronzes. —- Photos © IJF Media by G. Sabau, Tamas Zahonyi and Jack Willingham

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