Judo star Martyna Trajdos defends coach after Olympics viewers stunned by slapping preparation

Athlete says pre-competition ritual is what trainer does to ‘fire me up’

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Wednesday 28 July 2021 19:32 BST
German judoka is slapped by coach in pre-competition ritual

A German judoka has defended her coach after the man brutally shook and slapped her in a pre-competition ritual during the Tokyo Olympics.

German Olympian Martyna Trajdos, 32, was filmed marching out to her Judo fight with coach Claudiu Pusa on Tuesday.

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Mr Pusa was then seen dropping his bag before he violently shook the athlete and proceeded to slap her face on the left and then right cheek.

The moment, despite shocking viewers, did not appear to faze the athlete, who simply nodded at her coach prior to entering the combat area.

“This is what I asked my coach to do so please don’t blame him. I need this before my fights to be awake,” Ms Trajdos said when defending her coach, The Telegraph reports.

The athlete later took to Instagram to share the moment with her followers and express disappointment that the interaction was what people were focusing on over her Judo fight.

“Looks like this was not hard enough,” Ms Trajdos joked in her statement, referencing the slaps.

She then added: “I wish I could have made a different headline today. As I already said, that’s the ritual which I chose pre-competition! My coach is just doing what I want him to do to fire me up.”

Some commenters responded to the post saying that they understood the pre-competition ritual.

“Judokas understand this,” a commenter wrote.

Several commenters also wrote that they were “proud” of the Olympian, who lost her 63-kilogram match in the Round of 32 against Szofi Ozbas of Hungary.

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