Seventh heaven for Teddy Riner as Lukas Krpalek makes Czech history
Teddy Riner won his seventh world title as he took over-100kg gold in Chelyabinsk on Saturday, with Lukas Krpalek making history for the Czech Republic.
Chelyabinsk: Teddy Riner won his seventh world title as he took over-100kg gold in Chelyabinsk on Saturday, with Lukas Krpalek making history for the Czech Republic.
Riner equalled the feat of Japanese legend Ryoko Tani by landing his seventh World Championship gold medal, once again blowing away all the opposition in almost nonchalant fashion.
Meanwhile, Krpalek won his country`s first ever judo world title by claiming the under-100kg crown as Idalys Ortiz earnt Cuba the women`s over-78kg gold.
But once again it was all about the incomparable Riner, who at just 25 years of age is well on his way to rewriting the record books perhaps once and for all.
Riner later revealed his biggest concern had been the political situation between hosts Russia and their neighbour Ukraine.
"It`s a great day, I was at my best today, It`s been a great World Championship," he said.
"I was very concerned given what we were hearing on the television between Ukraine and Russia. In the end, they really pulled out all the stops to put on the tournament."
Already the youngest ever men`s world champion seven years ago at just 18 years and five months, Riner has now matched the all-time record of seven crowns set by Tani in the women`s under-48kg division from 1993 to 2007.
Although one of Riner`s titles came in the Open division in 2008, he could still continue for another 10 years should his body hold up to the rigours of international judo.
The Guadaloupe-born fighter, who is unbeaten since 2010, defeated Japan`s Ryu Schichinohe in the final by penalties, although he survived a late scare when his opponent managed to throw him to the ground, although without registering a score.
Even so, Riner was critical of his opponent.
"In the final I knew what I had to do but I`m very disappointed because when you watch a world final and you see one fighter going down to his knees and refusing to fight, it`s annoying and I think you could see that.
"But you have to take stock. I look at this medal and to tell the truth, I`m happy.
"I would have liked to express myself in the right way in the final but I was prevented from doing so.
"I`ll say it, I`m a bit frustrated."
It was the six-foot eight-inch (2.04m) 140kg fighter`s 65th win in a row since a controversial defeat to Daiki Kamikawa at the 2010 Open Championships in Japan.
Kamikawa, from Japan, was beaten by Russia`s Renat Saidov, who was thrown for ippon by Riner in the quarter-finals but went on to take bronze, alongside Brazil`s Rafael Silva.
Krpalek, the world number one and reigning European champion the last two years, beat Cuba`s Jose Armenteros to take the gold medal.
Germany`s Karl-Richard Frey beat Olympic champion Tagir Khaibulaev of Russia for bronze while Moldovan-born Ivan Remarenco, representing the United Arab Emirates, won the other bronze.
It was the UAE`s second medal of the championships after another naturalised fighter, Victor Scvortov claimed a historic first medal for the country, a bronze, on Wednesday in the under-73kg division.
In the final women`s category, Olympic champion Ortiz claimed her second successive world title, beating Maria Altheman in the final, just as she did 12 months ago in Rio.
Japan`s Megumi Tachimoto and Emilie Andeol of France took the bronze medals.
Japan topped the medals table -- as they do almost every time -- with four gold, two silver and three bronze.
France were the only other country to win more than one gold medal, taking two, a silver and four bronze.
Cuba and Brazil were equal third in the table with a gold, silver and two bronze each.
Hosts Russia won eight medals, second only to Japan, but six of those were bronze and no gold, while 25 different nations earnt gongs.
Sunday`s final day is reserved for the team competition.
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