French judoka Teddy Riner suffered his first defeat since 2010, ending his win streak at 154 matches.
Japanese Kokoro Kageura beat Riner in the third round of the Paris Grand Slam on Sunday.
“If this happens at the [Tokyo Olympic] Games I’ll be annoyed. Better this happens now than then,” Riner said, according to Agence France-Presse. “But I’ll tell you another thing too. It’s a relief in a way. Counting wins as I closed in on [Yasuhiro] Yamashita‘s record [203 straight in the 1970s and ’80s] was really heavy.”
Riner, a 30-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, was undefeated since December 2010.
He earned Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. Riner rarely competed the last two years, skipping the 2018 and 2019 World Championships to rest up for another Olympic run.
He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.
“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.
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