Riner won world title due to refereeing oversight: federation
French judo legend Teddy Riner, fresh from being crowned world champion, can breathe a sigh of relief after The International Judo Federation (IJF) admitted Wednesday it should have been his opponent Inal Tasoev who took gold.
The IJF said in a statement Russian judoka Tasoev -- competing as a neutral athlete due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine -- should have been awarded a point during the extra time golden score period.
Under IJF rules the first judoka to win a point in this spell which comes after the four minutes of normal combat is declared the winner.
"In the final contest of the +100kg category of the 2023 World Judo Championships, between the athletes Teddy Riner (FRA) and Inal Tasoev (AIN), there was one situation where neither the referee on the mat nor the IJF Refereeing Commission gave any score," read the IJF statement.
"The attack of Teddy Riner in white judogi was blocked and countered by Inal Tasoev in blue judogi. The decision was to continue the contest, without awarding a score for the counterattack.
"After the competition, taking into consideration the current refereeing rules and the opinion of judo experts, we find that a score for Tasoev's counterattack could be awarded.
"Herewith the IJF Refereeing Commission apologises deeply for its decision and informs that this kind of action shall be scored in the future, following the current judo rules."
Despite the official's error Riner retains his record-extending 11th world title and at 34 the milestone of being the oldest ever world champion.
The man from Guadeloupe, who became the youngest ever men's world champion in 2007, will bid for a third individual Olympic gold medal on home soil next year, after having to settle for bronze in Tokyo.
Riner last appeared in the world championships in 2017 and missed out last year due to an ankle injury.