Sunday, September 01, 2013
Yarden Gerbi wins gold for Israel
An athlete of Libyan origin is the first to win a gold medal for Israel in the women's Judo World Championships. Yarden Gerbi was visibly moved when she stood on the podium in Brazil as the Israeli national anthem Hatikvah played. The Jerusalem Post reports (with thanks: Sylvia) :
For over two decades judo has been one of Israel’s most successful sports. The country’s first ever Olympic medal came courtesy of judoka Yael Arad in Barcelona in 1992, with the likes of Oren Smadja and Arik Ze’evi also going on to win Olympic medals, as well as countless other titles in major competitions.
However, until Yarden Gerbi came along on Thursday night, no Israeli had ever claimed a gold medal at the judo World Championships.
Not only did the 24-year-old scale the top of the podium in Rio de Janeiro, but she did so in spectacular fashion.
Gerbi triumphed in all five of her battles with an ippon – judo’s version of a knockout – overcoming world No. 4 Kane Abe of Japan in the semifinals and world No. 2 Clarisse Agbegnenou in the final. Gerbi, the world No. 1 in the under-63 kilogram category, required just 43 seconds to overcome Agbegnenou, with the Frenchwoman losing consciousness following a near-deadly maneuver by the Israeli.
“This took a long time to sink in,” said Gerbi. “It’s like a dream. The last few days were very tense but finally my moment arrived.”
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