2nd Olympic medal for Israel: Or Sasson takes bronze in judo

view videoJust hours after Egyptian rival refused to shake hands after his loss, Israeli judoka, Or Sasson, wins a bronze medal in the men’s 100 kg plus weight class.

Elad Benari, Canada


Israeli judoka Or Sasson on Friday won a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics, after winning a consolation round in the men’s 100 kilogram plus weight class.

Sasson defeated Cuban Alex Garcia Mendoza, shortly after losing a semifinal match to world champion Teddy Riner.

The medal gives Israel its second bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Earlier this week, judoka Yarden Gerbi won a bronze medal after defeating Japan’s Miku Tashiro in the women’s Judo under 63 kg category.

Yarden Gerbi – Photo by ASAF KLIGER

Sasson’s medal came hours after an incident involving Egyptian judoka Islam el-Shahabi, who refused to shake Sasson’s hand as is customary, after Sasson defeated him in a match. The crowd responded by booing the Egyptian.

Egypt’s Olympic Committee later said that the el-Shahabi made the decision not to shake Sasson’s hand on his own, and that he had been “alerted before the match to abide by all the rules and to have sporting spirit during his match with the Israeli player.”

MK Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid), who heads the Knesset’s Sports Lobby, congratulated Sasson on winning the medal.

“The Israeli Olympic team is a delegation of great athletes. Or Sasson’s winning of a medal proves that Israel is a legitimate and respectable country when it comes to sports. After an exceptional day of matches, the raising of the Israeli flag in the biggest sporting arena in the world for a second time and Sasson standing on the podium are proof that Israeli sports can handle any challenge,” said Razvozov.

“At a time when Israel’s position in the world is deteriorating, and athletes refuse to shake hands with their Israeli opponents, such sporting achievements are the best answer to all our critics around the world and especially in countries that are trying to delegitimize Israel,” he concluded.


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