Riner and Tong crowned World Champions

Teddy Riner and Wen Tong (CHN) were crowned champions at the 1st World Open Championships – Le Titre Supreme – in Levallois/FRA, this Sunday (21st December). Riner and Tong are the current heavy weight champions (Rio 2007), having also won medals in Beijing 2008 (gold for Tong and bronze for young Riner, also current world junior double-champion 2006-08).


These great judokas, who showed the crowd the best of their techniques during the two-day event, are going back home for Christmas with not only the gold medal around their neck but also with a prize money of US$ 25 thousand in their pockets. Russians Alexsander Mikhaylin and Elena Ivanshchenko got the silver medal and a prize of US$ 15 thousand. While Grzegorz Eitel (POL) and Mattieu Bataille (FRA), and Megumi Tachimoto (JPN) and Mika Sugimoto (JPN), with bronze, received US$ 5 thousand each.


The World Open Championships featured 51 athletes from 18 countries (33 men and 18 ladies) and closed the 2008 season in a great style, with Olympic and World medalists fighting for the title. There were in Paris international judokas like Teddy Rinner (FRA, World Champion 07, Olympic Bronze 08), Yasuyuki Muneta (JPN, World Champion 03-07), Abdulo Tangriev (UZB, Olympic Silver 08, World Bronze 03-07), Igor Makarov (BLR, Olympic Chamion 04), Luciano Correa (BRA, World Champion 07 and World Bronze 2005), Frédéric Demontfaucon (FRA, World Champion 01, Olympic Bronze 00); and among the women Wen Tong (CHN, Olympic Champion 08 and World Champion 07), Celine Lebrun (FRA, Olympic Silver 00, World Champion 01), and other.


Being the first IJF official senior event to present the new competition system (no repechage) and the new refereeing rules (end of koka, first shido as warning, punishment for trousers grip), the World Open Championship proved that the changes came for good and were pretty well understood and accepted by the judo community. Out of 49 fights, 26 ended by ippon and only six were decided with penalties. There were only four golden scores. Five countries got medals: France, Poland, Russia, China and Japan.


Next years World Open Championships will be held in Macau from 26 to 27 September.