After winning all there is to win as a heavyweight judoka – the world title – the European crown and following his exploits in London the Olympic gold medal Teddy Riner told Euronews that as long as he continued to enjoy all aspects of the sport he would continue to don his judo suit and take to the tatami.
He said: “As long as it remains a pleasure to train, to travel for the international tournaments with my team mates, to live those moments, to want to reach my physical limits, I will continue. When I no longer feel the pleasure in it all, I will stop.”
At the ripe old age of 23, the Frenchman is the most successful male judoka in the history of the sport but the talented Frenchman remains hungry for success and any addition to his already swelling trophy cabinet would be a satisfying bonus.
“Everybody wants my head. Today I am happy, I fulfilled all my dreams. Now everything is a bonus, a new challenge. To go as far as I can go, win as many medals as possible. We’ll see the end of my career when I no longer have this will (to win more).”
Winning his sixth straight Paris grand slam in front of his adoring home fans was the perfect and a fitting start to a year in which Riner – nicknamed the ‘teddy bear’ – will be hunting a record-extending sixth world title come August in Rio De Janeiro.