Second Israeli Judoka wins gold in Abu Dhabi
(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Another Israeli Judoka, Peter Paltchik, won a gold medal in Abu Dhabi’s International Judo Federation's Grand Slam tournament on Monday.
Paltchik beat Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan in the final match of the under 100 kg weight category, making him the second Israeli to win gold in this tournament.
On Sunday, Israeli athlete Sagi Muki won a gold medal in the 81 kilogram weight class after defeating Belgium’s Matthias Casse in the final match of the tournament.
The Israeli athlete was presented with the gold medal and then stood alongside second and third place as Israel’s national anthem played for the first time at a public sporting event in the United Arab Emirates.
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev's presence in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi marked the first time a minister from Israel attended a sports event in the Gulf, Israeli officials said.
It is also the first time an Israeli delegation participates there under its national flag, after the International Judo Federation warned UAE organizers they would cancel the competition unless all athletes were allowed to participate on an equal footing.
Last year, tournament organizers in Abu Dhabi banned the flag and national anthem of Israel, which has no diplomatic relations with Gulf states.
Three Israeli judokas won bronze medals on Saturday, the first day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, with Regev given the honor of awarding the medals for one of the categories.
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