He came into the Montreal Grand Prix ranked only 35th in the IJF World Rankings, but there was no doubt who was going to be the star of the show once he came onto the tatami.
France’s Teddy Riner, a 10-time World Champion, has been away from the IJF World Tour since November of 2017, when he won the World Openweight Championship. His intention was to fight again, but he was absent during 2018 and for the first half of 2019.
But he was ready in Montreal and had no trouble extending his 144-match winning streak with four consecutive victories at +100 kg, including overcoming 2016 Olympic 100 kg gold medalist Lukas Krpalek (CZE) in a hard-fought match in the semifinals, and Japan’s Hisayoshi Harasawa in the final.
Riner joined five current and former World Champions from Japan on the gold-medal list. Naohisa Takato (men: -60 kg), Soichi Hashimoto (men: -73 kg), Takanori Nagase (men: -81 kg), Shori Hamada (women: -78 kg) and Sarah Asahina (women: +78 kg) all won, as did Rio 2016 gold medalist Mashu Baker at -90 kg.
All together, Japan won nine medals (7-1-1) to lead the medal table, with host Canada (1-4-4) also at nine and then Brazil (0-0-5) at five. The U.S. scored three medals, with Colton Brown (men: -90 kg) and Angelica Delgado (women: -52 kg) taking silvers and Adonis Diaz (men: -60 kg) winning bronze. Summaries:
IJF World Tour/Montreal Grand Prix
Montreal (CAN) ~ 5-7 July 2019
(Full results here)
-60 kg: 1. Naohisa Takato (JPN); 2. Robert Mshvidobadze (RUS); 3. Harim Lee (KOR) and Adonis Diaz (USA).
-66 kg: 1. Kherlen Ganbold (MGL); 2. Kenneth van Gansbeke (BEL); 3. Nathon Burns (IRL) and Jacob Valois (CAN).
-73 kg: 1. Soichi Hashimoto (JPN); 2. Victor Scvortov (UAE); 3. Anthony Zingg (GER) and Antoine Bouchard (FRA).
-81 kg: 1. Takanori Nagase (JPN); 2. Antoine Valois-Fortier (CAN); 3. Aslan Lappinagov (RUS) and Matthias Casse (BEL).
-90 kg: 1. Mashu Baker (JPN); 2. Colton Brown (USA); 3. Rafael Macedo (BRA) and Milan Randl (SVK).
-100 kg: 1. Ramadan Darwish (EGY); 2. Shady Elnahas (CAN); 3. Kyle Reyes (CAN) and Leonardo Goncalves (BRA).
+100 kg: 1. Teddy Riner (FRA); 2. Hisayoshi Harasawa (JPN); 3. David Moura (BRA) and Lukas Krpalek (CZE).
-48 kg: 1. Wakana Koga (JPN); 2. Catarina Costa (POR); 3. Shira Rishony (ISR) and Paula Pareto (ARG).
-52 kg: 1. Gefen Primo (ISR); 2. Angelica Delgado (USA); 3. Sarah Menzies (BRA) amd Bokyeong Jeong (KOR).
-57 kg: 1. Christa Deguchi (CAN); 2. Jessica Klimkait (CAN); 3. Julia Kowalczyk (POL) and Timna Nelson Levy (ISR).
-63 kg: 1. Mokhee Cho (KOR); 2. Amy Livesey (GBR); 3. Alexia Castilhos (BRA) and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN).
-70 kg: 1. Giovanna Scoccimarro (GER); 2. Kelita Zupancic (CAN); 3. Seongyeon Kim (KOR) and Megan Fletcher (IRL).
-78 kg: 1. Shori Hamada (JPN); 2. Aleksandra Babintseva (RUS); 3. Maike Ziech (GER) and Vanessa Chala (ECU).
+78 kg: 1. Sarah Asahina (JPN); 2. Raz Hershko (ISR); 3. Nami Inamori (JPN) and Melissa Mojica (PUR).