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German judoka Martyna Trajdos defends coach for slapping her at Tokyo Olympics

Published: Updated:

A German judo competitor at the Tokyo Olympics has defended her coach after he slapped her before a match, saying that it was part of a ritual they do together before her matches.

The slap seen around the world took place on Tuesday as German judo athlete Martyna Trajdos ahead of her Olympics match against Hungary’s Szofi Ozbas in the women’s 63 kg elimination round category.

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The video of the incident, which went viral on social media in the past several days, showed the coach grabbing Trajdos by the collar and shaking her several times before slapping her once on each cheek.

“As I already said that’s the ritual which I chose pre competition !” Trajdos posted on Instagram, after the incident wen viral.

“My coach is just doing what I want him to do to fire me up!” she added.

The International Judo Federation posted an official statement on Wednesday, saying it had “addressed a serious official warning towards the German coach, concerning the bad behavior he showed during the competition. Judo is an educational sport and as such cannot tolerate such behavior, which goes against the judo moral code.”

Several people took offence to the pre-match ritual, saying it had no place in a sport like Judo.

“Please ban coaching from judo, it's getting pathetic, behaviors of coaches are against judo's spirit, now occurs with young competitors and parents everybody shouts on the tatami's side, it's a real shame, time to prove there's still and ethic in that martial art,” wrote Alex Ambert on Twitter.