Martyna Trajdos (left) in action against Szofi Ozbas


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A German judoka has defended the tactics of her coach after he shook her violently and slapped her across each cheek before her Olympic bout in Tokyo. 

Martyna Trajdos was competing in the women’s -63kg category at the Nippon Budokan where she was drawn to face Szofi Ozbas, of Hungary, in the elimination round of 32. 

Marching purposely out to fight flanked by her coach, Claudiu Pusa, Trajdos stops on the side of the mat before turning on the spot. German national coach Pusa, who has dropped the bag he is carrying, then steps forward and grabs her jacket, or judogi, near the collar, shaking her violently back and forth. 

This is then followed with a fierce slap to the left cheek and another to the right. Trajdos, seemingly expecting the treatment dished out to her, gives a brief nod of the head and moves towards the mat for the contest. 

Sadly for the 32-year-old, the European Games champion in 2015 and a world bronze medallist in 2019, the pre-bout routine did not help when it came to her Olympic chances, Ozbas emerging triumphant by Waza-Ari. 

That would be the end of Trajdos’ competition but the extraordinary scenes with her coach were picked up by the cameras, leading to unlikely attention worldwide and considerable concern for her wellbeing 

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So much so that the German, who was born in Poland and lives in Cologne, took to Instagram stories explaining it was a motivational tactic, albeit an unsuccessful one, that she had asked for. "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!" she wrote.

It would seem that the explanation did not suffice as six hours later she added: "This is what I asked my coach to do so please don’t blame him. I need this before my fights to be awake." 

And another hour later, in a separate post alongside the accompanying video of the incident, she again wrote: "Looks like this was not hard enough. I wish I could have made a different headline today. 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."