Judo Olympian Defends Coach’s Slap as a Pre-Game “Ritual”

Judo Olympian Defends Coach's Slap as a Pre-Game

A coach on Germany’s Judo Olympic team came under fire this week for slapping an athlete prior to a match. 

Martyna Trajdos was facing off against Hungary’s Szofi Ozbas on Tuesday, July 27 when, according to video of the incident shared by NBC’s TodayClaudiu Pusa is seen shaking Martyna by the collar and slapping each of her cheeks. Martyna then nods her head and steps into the ring. 

In light of the backlash, the International Judo Federation released a statement reprimanding Claudiu for exhibiting what the organization described as “bad behavior.” 

“The IJF addressed a serious official warning towards the German coach, concerning the bad behaviour he showed during the competition,” the message, posted to Twitter on July 28, read. “Judo is an educational sport and as such cannot tolerate such behaviour, which goes against the judo moral code. #respect”

Meanwhile, Martyna is in strict opposition of the IJF’s response. She took to social media to explain that her coach’s actions are part of a pre-game ritual that helps get her head in the game. 

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