All eyes will be on the judo competition when French heavyweight Teddy Riner bids for a third individual Olympic gold medal, and it could end up being one of the highlights of the Paris Games.

Every Olympics has an iconic moment from a home athlete and, although the French will be hoping for plenty of contenders, another gold at his fourth Games for the man known as "Big Teddy" would be right up there.

The 35-year-old won his 11th individual world title in Doha last year and another gold in Paris would see him match the record of Japan's Tadahiro Nomura, who won successive Olympic extra lightweight titles in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

"Having the Olympics at home is what motivates me. It is magical and it brings a lot of emotion", Riner told reporters in February after winning the Paris Grand Slam.

Riner, who was born in Guadeloupe but grew up in the French capital, already shares the record for most Olympic medals in judo with Japan's Ryoko Tani having also won two individual bronzes and a mixed team gold in Tokyo.

His Tokyo bronze came after one of only a handful of losses over a career that has spanned 15 years, a stunning upset at the hands of Russian Tamerlan Bashaev in the quarterfinals.

Riner is undefeated since failing to retain the Olympic title, his focus firmly fixed on the competition at Paris's Grand Palais, renamed the Champ de Mars Arena for the Games, which run from July 27 to Aug. 3.

In June, Riner won the Madrid Open in Spain for what should be his last competition before he takes to the tatami at the Olympics in August.

Third Gold

Czech Lukas Krpalek also will be chasing a third individual gold medal in Paris after winning the half heavyweight title in Rio and taking advantage of Riner's absence from the last two rounds of the Tokyo competition to claim the heavyweight crown.

Unsurprisingly as the home of the martial art, Japan has been by far the most successful nation in judo at the Olympics since the sport made its debut at the first Tokyo Games in 1964.

Female judokas took their first Olympic bows at Barcelona in 1992 and both sexes now compete for gold medals in seven weight classes as well as for one mixed team title.

Another home fighter taking center stage on the Paris tatami will be 31-year-old Clarisse Agbegnenou, who won the half heavyweight silver in Rio and gold in Tokyo.

Riner, Agbegnenou and their teammates beating Japan in the mixed team final in Tokyo took a bit of the gloss off the home nation's haul of nine golds, two silvers and one bronze.

Whether France can repeat the feat in Paris depends partly on how they deal with the pressure of competing on home soil.

"On the one hand, I will have my family there and a lot of people to support me," Riner told French GQ magazine in a recent cover interview.

"On the other hand, it puts additional pressure on some athletes that can prevent them from excelling, slows them down and hinders them.

"That's not the case for me, but you never know."