Friday Jul 30, 2021
TOKYO: The sight of German judoka Martyna Trajdos being slapped by her coach just moments before entering the ring was an appalling one for the spectators of a match at the Tokyo Olympics, NDTV reported Thursday.
The video of the coach, Claudiu Pusa, smacking the 32-year-old judo star made rounds on social media within minutes after the incident. It showed Pusa shaking the German athlete vigorously and slapping her in the face twice as she turned towards him before entering the ring.
However, Trajdos responded to the video by telling her fans not to worry and defending the slap as an attempt of the coach to buck her up prior to the match, the publication said.
"Don't worry guys! That's the ritual which I chose before fights. My coach is just doing what I want him to do to fire me up!" Martyna Trajdos wrote on her Instagram story Tuesday after the video went viral, reported New York Post.
"I need this before my fights to be awake," she said.
It was a ‘coincidence’ that Trajdos was eliminated in a round 32 contest against Hungarian judoka Szofi Ozbas in the Olympic Games after the ‘slap scene.
Following the elimination, Trajdos re-shared the incident’s clip on her Instagram handle on Wednesday, only to defend her coach again.
Reiterating the slap as a ‘pre-fight ritual’, Trajdos said, “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!”
In an attempt to tail down the issue, Trajdos even joked about the slap and remarked that she wouldn’t have lost against Ozbas had Pusa slapped her harder.
"Looks like this was not hard enough. I wish I could have made a different headline today," Trajdos wrote.
Despite multiple clarifications from the Judo star, the video sparked numerous reactions on Twitter with at least 10 million views.
"I have an overwhelming urge to smack him back. (even if this is some mutually acceptable, bizarre training technique)," a Twitter user wrote.
Some even turned the clip into memes with their hilarious captions.