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9 Feb, 2020 15:16

'The whole of France is in shock!' Judo legend Teddy Riner loses for first time in 10 YEARS and 154 BOUTS (VIDEO)

'The whole of France is in shock!' Judo legend Teddy Riner loses for first time in 10 YEARS and 154 BOUTS (VIDEO)

After 154 matches spanning 10 years and two Olympic gold medals, French judoka Teddy Riner finally tasted defeat on Sunday as he lost out to Japanese rival Kageura Kokoro at the Paris Grand Slam in a monumental upset.

The 24-year-old Kokoro was tipped to give Riner problems when they first met in Brasilia last year, but Riner pulled out the victory after six minutes of Golden Score overtime.

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The pair once again couldn't be separated within the allotted timeframe at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris on Sunday, however Kokora scored the game-winning points just 40 seconds into the additional time as he hit a uchi-mata-sukashi to send Riner to the mat. 

Riner's last judo defeat came in September 2010 in the open-weight final of the Tokyo World Championships to another Japanese, Takahashi Kazuhiko.

Riner appeared somewhat rusty throughout the tournament in what was his first outing of 2020 after competing just twice last year, winning both the Montreal Grand Prix and taking the Brasilia Grand Slam in October.

He was taken to overtime in the second round against Austrian judoka Stephan Hegyi but advanced to the next stage after successfully defeating him by ippon, the highest score possible in the sport.

Riner appeared in control for long spells of his final match with Kokoro but couldn't quite assert his authority on his younger opponent. With the partisan Parisian crowd chanting Riner's name throughout, Kokoro successfully countered Riner's leg-throw with an arm-throw of his own, ending the match and Riner's spell of dominance over the sport. 

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