Or Sasson Set to Retire
Or Sasson, the man once considered to be a leading candidate for defeating the great Teddy Riner, is set to retire from competition.
In his career, Sasson has amassed two Olympic bronze medals (one for Individual and one for the Mixed Team event), two European silvers and five IJF World Tour gold medals. Strangely, he has no medals of any color at the World Championships. In seven campaigns spanning 2013-2021, he never managed to make it to the medal podium.
As an athletic heavyweight fighter who was able to do drop techniques, Sasson was long thought to be the one who might be able to slip underneath Riner and throw him. In fact, he nearly did just that at the 2016 Rio Olympics semifinal but in the end Riner won out.
Sasson’s good performance in Rio, where he ended up with a bronze, kept alive the tantalizing prospect that he might be able to break Riner’s record run of undefeated matches. But Riner chose not to compete much after Rio. From 2016 to 2020, these two never got another chance to meet on the mat.
Perhaps it is fitting that Sasson’s last two international matches were with Riner, though. In 2021, they fought twice at the Tokyo Olympics, once in the individual event and once in the team event. Both times he lost to Riner. It would have been interesting though if in the years right after Rio 2016, Sasson had gotten a chance to fight his biggest rival.
Sasson has produced an instructional video called Israeli Ippon Systems, where he showcased the various techniques in his arsenal, including his famous drop techniques. He also gave an insightful Ted Talk entitled: “How a Sensitive Guy Became an Olympic Fighter” where he talked about the nervousness he had to learn to overcome in competitions.