“Teddy Riner still has six months left to work hard”: On a mission for the Paris 2024 Olympics

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I had some great feelings. I was determined to come here even though I committed late. It was important for me to come to this Paris tournament, it was a very good review for me because it will be like that on the day of the Games. The audience supported me well.

Now, I need to stay grounded, take stock. I’m missing some things. What I did today was good, I won’t deny it, but there are six months left to keep working. But here, I was able to position myself in the international context.

That’s why I wanted to compete in this tournament even though there were many other possibilities. I was able to work on my judo, my tactics against the opponents I faced today. After that, I don’t lose sight that this tournament was for preparation, not the main objective. I would have preferred to make mistakes here rather than on the big day.

In this final, it was very close, very complicated but I finally found the solution. You always have to believe in yourself, in your judo, in what I’m putting in place. I would have liked to do a little more but it’s already good. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, I want to do things calmly.

It has never been easy, and even less so now. I have to pull out all the stops to progress and prepare well for Paris. I’m not yet at 100% but as I said, I still have six months to work on everything, the physical, the technical, and of course the judo. It won’t be in Baku because it’s too far, and Turkey is more enjoyable (smile).

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