Handball culture : Teddy Riner


15 December 2016


Each week we talk to a sports personality or other celebrity about their relationship with handball and to discuss the 2017 Handball World Championships. Today, Teddy Riner, double judo Olympic Champion.

Have you ever played handball ? Do you think you would have made a good handball player ?

Yes, I played handball when I was in secondary school, with the UNSS. I don’t really know if I would have made a good handball player, but with my size, maybe I could have been an attacking player, because I like to play offense, or if not, a goalkeeper, because I think I can fill the space of the goal pretty well.

Three words to describe handball ?

Lovely, courage, endurance.

Who do you think is the most phenomenal player ?

I’m impressed by all the French team players, but I would say Niko Karabatic. I exchanged views with some handball players during the Olympic Games in Rio, and they all told me that he was the best in every way. I can also say that I am astounded every time I see Luc Abalo play. With his more atypical style of play, he always find a trick up his sleeve.

If you had to keep only one handball memory ?

The most recent one : the quarterfinal, the semifinal and the final played by the Experts in Rio, even if it did not end like we wished.

You won the World Championship in Paris in 2011. What can you say about playing in front of your supporters, as the Experts will do in January ?

It brings some enthusiasm, for sure ! In the mind, it is a substantial advantage. But it also an added pressure because you can not afford to get things wrong. You are at home, you want to please everybody, to succeed in front of yout close relations. So it can be a plus as well as it can be a minus if you mishandle this pressure. But I’m not worried about our handball players, they all are great players, used to this kind of big events. I’m sure they will know what to do, and in any case, we will all be 100 per cent behind them.

Picture Credits : Adidas