On the road to a third Olympic title in an unprecedented individual heavyweight category this summer in Paris, Teddy Riner had the opportunity on Sunday to gain confidence by winning a record eighth victory at the Paris Grand Slam. As the defending champion in the capital, he defeated South Korean Kim Min-jong in the final to secure this eighth record-breaking success at Bercy, surpassing his compatriots Lucie Décosse and Clarisse Agbégnénou, who won gold on Saturday in the -63 kg category. Riner made his return to individual competition nine months after his eleventh world championship title in Doha, Qatar.
The 34-year-old Frenchman started the day by facing Kazakh Galymzhan Krikbay, who was disqualified after three penalties in 2 min 28, and then against South Korean Jaegu Youn, whom he took down in just 42 seconds. In the quarterfinal, he immobilized 22-year-old German Losseni Kone after 2 min 32. In the semifinal, the French judoka had some tense moments against Uzbek Alisher Yusupov.
For a few seconds, Bercy and its approximately 15,000 spectators fell silent. Yusupov had managed to bring down the French giant, but the ippon was eventually downgraded to a single point (waza-ari) after video review: Riner had not been thrown directly onto his back. After equalizing, the Frenchman made a decisive attack in the last thirty seconds.