Israel’s Ze’evi wins European judo championship

Israel’s Arik Ze’evi makes history, wins European judo championship for fourth time


Huge achievement for Israel: Arik Ze’evi, Israel’s top judo wrestler for more than a decade now, won the European judo championship in his class for the fourth time Saturday.

Huge win for Ze'evi (Photo; AFP)

Huge win for Ze'evi - Photo by AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Ze’evi Saturday and congratulated him on his achievement.

“You touched all of us,” Netanyahu said. “You put on a show on behalf of the state of Israel; you brought us great honor and hope.”

Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres also conveyed his well-wishes, writing that he is “filled with amazement and appreciation over this wonderful gold medal win.”

Ze’evi won the gold medal after defeating Levan Jorjoliani from Georgia in the under-100 kg category at the championship, held in Russia this year.

The victory marked the ninth medal in Ze’evi’s illustrious career, as the veteran 35-year-old athlete prepares to embark on the Olympic championship while in top form. Ze’evi already won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Ze’evi’s medal was the fourth won by Israel’s team at the European championship.

In 2011, Ze’evi won a gold medal in Moscow’s Judo Grand Slam. During that competition, Ze’evi was snubbed by an Egyptian judo wrestler, who refused to shake the Israeli athlete’s hand after the latter’s victory.


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By Oren Aharoni
Attila Somfalvi contributed to the story