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Teddy Riner, heavyweight judo's heavy favorite, cruises into semifinals

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The final day of judo competition features the men's and women's heavyweight divisions. With action complete up through the quarterfinals, the top two seeds in both classes remain in contention for gold, including reigning Olympic champions Teddy Riner and Idalys Ortiz.


Riner made it into the semifinals without too much trouble. The Frenchman's first match ended in just 65 seconds after he combined an earlier waza-ari with a 15-second hold-down to attain an automatic victory by ippon. His next match in the quarterfinals with Brazil's Rafael Silva went the distance, but Riner's waza-ari midway through the bout held up as the winning score.


Next up in the semifinals, Riner will face Israel's Or Sasson, who earlier in the day beat an Egyptian judoka who refused to shake hands at the end of the match. Riner holds a 3-0 record against Sasson.


If Riner moves on to the final round, as expected, he will likely have to face Japan's Hisayoshi Harawasa in a match that has been years in the making. Harawasa won 34 conesecutive matches over a nearly-two-year period from 2014-2016, but he has never fought Riner.


The women's heavyweight division could be a showdown between Cuba's Ortiz and China's Yu Song. Both judoka won their first two matches with victories by ippon and are one win away from reaching the gold medal round. Despite being the world No. 1 and No. 2 in the weight class, Ortiz and Song have not fought since 2013.


Below is a look at the matchups coming up in today's final block, which will stream live on NBCOlympics.com starting at 2:30 p.m. ET. Rankings from the end of the Olympic qualification period are also listed.


Men's heavyweight semifinal matches

No. 1 Teddy Riner (FRA) vs. No. 5 Or Sasson (ISR)

No. 2 Hisayoshi Harawasa (JPN) vs. No. 19 Abdullo Tangriev (UZB)


Men's heavyweight repechage matches

No. 9 Rafael Silva (BRA) vs. No. 4 Roy Meyer (NED)

No. 30 Alex Garcia (CUB) vs. No. 22 Iurii Krakovetskii (KGZ)


Women's heavyweight semifinal matches

No. 1 Yu Song (CHN) vs. No. 5 Emilie Andeol (FRA)

No. 2 Idalys Ortiz (CUB) vs. No. 4 Kanae Yamabe (JPN)


Women's heavyweight repechage matches

No. 11 Kayra Sayit (TUR) vs. No. 6 Nihel Cheikh Rouhou (TUN)

No. 10 Kim Min-Jeoing (KOR) vs. No. 15 Tessie Savelkouls (NED)




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