The victories kept coming for Riner, to the greatest pleasure of all. The public showed that they still had their voice, after having encouraged Clarisse Agbegnenou and the other members of the French team throughout the previous days. In the semi-final, the Frenchman faced number one seed Alisher Yusupov (UZB) who was working at 100% of his capacity to throw the French giant with a yoko-guruma that sent a chill through the stadium. Ippon or not? The video quickly revealed that Riner didn't land completely on his back: waza-ari! But what a move that was!
The contest increased in intensity and Yusupov did not seem to be giving in. Riner, however, put even more pressure on him and quickly equalised. In a final action, he sealed the fight by throwing his valiant opponent. Hats off to Yusupov who offered candid opposition throughout this magnificent semi-final and congratulations to Riner for again reaching the final... for an eighth victory?
While all eyes were on Riner, Minjong Kim (KOR) was making his way to the final too. The first big attack came from Teddy Riner but Minjong Kim fell on his stomach. Then it was the turn of Riner to fall with a powerful ippon-ko-uchi from the Korean judoka but for no score. Kim was pushing and was dangerous on several occasions. As the final gong sounded in the arena, there were two shido apiece.
The contest was intense and it felt like it could go either way. Kim launched a tani-otoshi that slightly unbalanced Riner but the champion readjusted his position, changed direction and accompanied Kim to the ground with an o-uchi-gari for waza-ari. The respect of Teddy Riner for his worthy opponent was clearly visible. He likes to have challenging opposition and today he had it, but in the end, Teddy Riner is the winner and for the 8th time; a new record is set.
The first match for a bronze medal was between Saba Inaneishvili (GEO) and Kanta Nakano (JPN) and the result was quickly known as Kanta Nakano pinned down his opponent for ippon after less than a minute. This is the first medal in a grand slam for Nakano.
The second and final bronze medal match saw Irakli Demetrashvili (GEO) and Alisher Yusupov (UZB) battle it out for the podium place. Irakli Demetrashvili thought he had scored but it was actually his opponent Alisher Yusupov who had executed a perfect sumi-gaeshi for ippon. It is medal number seven in a grand slam for Alisher Yusupov.