It was big Ted’s day on the final outing of the Zagreb Grand Prix and and the Frenchman Teddy Riner was worth his weight in gold
The nine-time world champion and double Olympic champion thrilled the crowd throwing Austria’s Stephan Hegyi for Ippon in the over 100kg final to take the gold medal and become our man of the day.
A huge o-guruma throw two minutes into the contest, landed the Austrian flat on his back and put Riner on top of the podium.
As he left the tatami Croatia’s young Judo fans got a chance to touch hands with the legend before the French national anthem rang out in the Stadium.
“Yes I have a big responsibility, for the kids for the future for the present, with the fighters, said Riner.
“This is a wonderful tournament with beautiful kids who want an autograph. It’s good. Everybody has to sign an autograph for the kids.”
Our woman of the day is Larisa Ceric of Bosnia and Herzegovina who took Gold in the over 78kg section.
After a failed attack by Santa Pakenyte of Lithuania, Ceric was quick to seize an opportunity on the ground and apply an armlock, forcing her opponent to submit.
“You know I said last year it feels like home here so it is a special feeling, said Ceric. “The crowd was cheering for me so they gave me power to fight well and to win in the final.”
The day’s other female category was won by Shori Hamada of Japan who also used an armlock, to defeat France’s Sama Hawa Camara. Hamada needed less than 10 seconds to strike gold.
The Mens under 100kg was won by Hungary’s Miklos Cirjenics who threw Portugal’s Jorge Fonseca for Ippon in a pressure point moment of Judo. A great result for Hungary
His Hungarian teammate, former World Silver medalist Krisztian Toth, provided us with our moment of the day in the under 90kg final.
A beautiful counter attack from Toth saw him spinning his Brazilian opponent 180 degrees, before driving him over and planting him flat on his back for Ippon.
Toth received his gold medal from the man who defeated him in the 2014 World championship final, the recently retired Ilias Iliadis of Greece.
So it was two gold medals for Hungary on the third and final day in Zagreb.