Judo’s governing body has formally warned a Romanian coach who shook and slapped a female athlete in the face twice to prepare her for an Olympic bout.
German judoka Martyna Trajdos however defended the coach saying the bizarre ritual fired her up.
A video showing her coach Claudiu Pusa grabbing the 32-year-old’s shoulders, shaking her by the lapels and proceeding to slap her on each side of her face before she walked onto the mat at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday went viral.
'Don't worry. It wakes me up': German Martyna Trajdos defends her coach after he violently shakes and slaps her before Olympic judo bout… as she insists she needs bizarre ritual to 'fire her up'#Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/1rcrvVzpAJ
— CSTV_GH (@cstv_gh) July 28, 2021
Ms Trajdos came to her coach’s defense on Instagram, stating it was her choice to have that kind of ritual.
“I wish I could have made a different headline today,” read the caption on her instagram post. “As I already said that’s the ritual which I chose pre-competition !”
The International Judo Federation issued the warning a day after the incident calling it “a serious official warning” for the Germany team coach for “the bad behavior he showed.”
Earlier, Ms Trajfdos said she had requested the slap saying “Don’t worry, it wakes me up” before stepping on the mat.
The governing body said judo was “an educational sport and as such cannot tolerate such behavior.”
Ms Trajdos, who lost the bout, later wrote on Instagram that “Looks like this was not hard enough” in reference to the slaps.