A video of a German Olympic judo athlete Martyna Trajdos getting slapped in the face and violently shaken about by her coach before her fight at the Olympic Games in Tokyo is making waves on social media.
Trajdos was competing in the Round of 32 of the women's 63kg category against Hungarian opponent Szofi Ozbas.
In video footage that is being circulated online, just before Trajdos walked on to the mat, she stopped and turned to Claudiu Pusa, her coach. Pusa dropped his bag and violently shook Trajdos back-and-forth, slapped her across her left cheek and then did the same to her right cheek before Trajdos nodded at Pusa and entered the combat arena. Watch the video below:
Trajdos Defends Coach, Says It was a Pre-Match Ritual
The incident sparked some strong reactions from viewers' who were quick to assume it was some kind of abusive, or unwanted gesture from the coach, Trajdos reposted the now-viral clip on her Instagram account saying the coach acted on her request in an attempt to "fire her up."
The 32-year-old judoka said, "Look's 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!"
Trajados later doubled down on her defense of the coach after he drew criticism from all corners of the internet, and added on her Instagram stories, "This is what I asked my coach to do so please don't blame him. I need this before my fights to be awake."
Unfortunately, the coach's pre-match ritual did little to hype Trajdos up as she lost the fight, leading to her elimination from the competition.
Trajdos is a Polish-born German judo competitor who lives in Cologne. She has been fighting on the world stage in the -63kg division for years, including at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, where she was knocked out in the second round. Trajdos also took home a gold medal in the 2015 European Championships and a bronze medal in the European Judo World Championships last year.