Judo legend Teddy Riner crowned heavyweight king at Montreal Grand Prix

Judo legend Teddy Riner crowned heavyweight king at Montreal Grand Prix
Copyright رویترز
Copyright رویترز
By Philip Pangalos
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Japan win 7 golds at 2019 Montreal Grand Prix as French judo legend Teddy Riner is crowned heavyweight king after returning to top flight competition


The 'King of Judo' is back. And on the third and final day of the 2019 Montreal Grand Prix, 10 times World, and 2 times Olympic Champion, a man who hasn’t lost in over 100 contests, France's Teddy Riner was here to show his almost two year absence has changed nothing.

But it wasn’t a smooth ride. The -100kg Olympic Champion Lukas Krpalek took the fight to him in the semi-final. But Riner was victorious after a tough match went into Golden score.

In a rematch of the Rio Olympic final, against Japan’s uchi mata merchant Hisayoshi Harasawa, Riner took another tight victory, winning the +100kg gold and crowning him our Man of the Day.

The king is back: Legendary French judoka Teddy Riner won gold after defeating Hisayoshi Harasawa in the +100kg final
This is a difficult day for me. After 18 months I try for the new competition, to prepare for the Olympic Games. But I know it wasn’t my best event. But today, the [point] is, I won. And I fought against big opponents. In the semi-final and the final, I think for me, these are the best ones actually
Teddy Riner
+100kg gold medal winner
Pure power: Shori Hamada of Japan won gold after defeating Russia’s Aleksandra Babintseva in the -78kg final

Our Woman of the Day was reigning World Champion Shori Hamada, who was on fire all day. Not having won a tournament since being crowned World Champion, she was clearly determined.

In the -78kg final she continued her fine form, as she defeated Russia’s Aleksandra Babintseva with a powerful uchi mata inside the first minute of the contest. Taking another gold medal for Team Japan, and setting her sights on Tokyo.

Since I won the World Championships last year, I haven’t been able to win in International Competition. So this win is a big confidence boost for me
Shori Hamada
-78kg gold medal winner
Clever counter-attack: Mashu Baker of Japan won gold after defeating Colton Brown of the USA in the -90kg final

Another Olympic Champion put on a display in Montreal. This time it was Mashu Baker of Japan. In the -90kg final, he defeated Colton Brown of the USA, executing a clever counter in the final moments of the contest.

Heavyweight queen: Japan's Sarah Asahina won gold after defeating Israel’s Raz Hershko in the +78kg final

And there was yet more gold for Japan, as another World Champion attended Montreal in the lead up to Tokyo. Sarah Asahina countered Israel’s Raz Hershko in the final, to stake her claim as the queen of the +78kg category.

Japan easily topped the final medals table standings with a total of 7 golds, one silver and one bronze, ahead of hosts Canada in second with one gold, four silvers and four bronzes, and Israel in third place with one gold, one silver and two bronzes.

Power play: Ramadan Darwish of Egypt won gold after defeating Canada's Shady Elnahas in the -100kg final

Ramadan Darwish was incredible all day. He took on home favourite Shady Elnahas, and had a super start, countering his opponent to bring Egypt their first medal of the tournament and it was -100kg gold.

Move of the Day

But alongside his silver medal, Elnahas had much to celebrate, including performing our Move of the Day on World Medalist Karl-Richard Frey of Germany. 

Huge hip throw: Canada's Shady Elnahas provided our Move of the Day with a massive o-goshi against Karl-Richard Frey of Germany

Known for his dangerous hip throws, the home favourite displayed exactly why, with an outrageously large technique bringing the home crowd to their feet.

This was one of many times the stadium was filled with a cacophony of sound from the knowledgeable and excited Canadian people. It certainly was a fantastic debut tournament in Montreal.

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