Rok Drakšič will lead the Finnish judo team ©Getty Images

Slovenian judoka and former world number one Rok Drakšič has been chosen as the new head coach of Finland's team, with the aim of earning the nation its first Olympic medal in the sport.

The 33-year-old retired from elite competition in 2017 and immediately started his coaching career in Slovenia's capital of Ljubljana, after completing his degree in coaching at the University of Maribor.

So far his greatest success as a coach was the gold medal won by his athlete Adrian Gomboc in the 66 kilograms category at the European Judo Championships in 2018.

Drakšič himself won European gold in 2013 in Budapest in the 73kg category, and also claimed a further four bronze medals from 2010 to 2016.

Speaking of his appointment, Drakšič said: "My goal is to bring Finnish judokas back to the game – I look forward to my new job."

The Finnish Judo Association (SJL) had been searching for a change in coaching since late 2019 with resources now focused in Helsinki.

Jaana Jokinen, director of coaching at the organisation, explained the selection.

"He has a desire to take on the challenge and I believe that together with him athletes will be able to take the required steps to the next level," he said.

"The aim is to create credible daily training conditions in Helsinki that meets international standards."

Marko Laaksonen, the President of the SJL, added: "I think that Rok is right person to bring the knowledge and attitude that will help us achieve the goal."

Finland have not won a World Championship medal in judo since their sole podium finish in 1981, when Juha Salonen won bronze in the over-95kg category.