One of France’s most well known Olympians, judo star Teddy Riner, suffered a shock early defeat in his bid to make history at Tokyo 2020 - having to settle for bronze instead.
The heavyweight was beaten by Russian Tamerlan Bashaev in the quarter-finals, ending his chances of equalling Japanese judoka Tadahiro Nomura’s record of winning three Olympic judo golds.
As Team GB experienced in taekwondo, the martial arts demonstrated its fine margins once again, with the 32-year-old only losing on a golden score, with the Russian Olympic Committee athlete securing victory with a sumi-otoshi waza-ari throw.
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Riner advanced through the repechage to salvage bronze, matching his achievement from Beijing 2008, by beating Hisayoshi Harasawa.
He has been virtually untouchable in his +100kg division, but he was also on the end of a surprise loss last year, when Japan’s Kokoro Kageura inflicted a first defeat in nearly a decade.
That brought to a close a run of 154 wins, which had contributed to two Olympic golds and 10 world titles.
It was even more of a shock given that Riner looked in superb form earlier in the day, when he needed less than two minutes to see off Austrian Stephan Hegyi.
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