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Judokas still seeking a medal as swimmers sparkle

CM 29/07/2021

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Israel pulled off impressive results in the pool after a rough start to the day on Thursday as the contingent faltered in the sea and on the judo mat but will look to turn it around on Friday as one of the country’s former Olympic medalists will be in action.

One of Israel’s medal favorites, Peter Paltchik, competed in the -100kg category and crashed out of the Olympics after losing his repechage bout as the judo contingent continued to look for its first medal in the competition. Hopes were high for Paltchik, who entered the Tokyo Games in tip-top shape as he looked to make up for the disappointing results to date in the discipline.
The 29-year-old won his first bout over Mongolia’s Itgonbaatar Lkhagvasuren via Waza-ari in the golden score. Next up for Paltchik was 2016 World Champion Aaron Wolf from the host nation as the two battled it out neck-and-neck throughout the bout. However, with time running out, Wolf scored a Waza-ari that sent the Israeli to the repechage where he would face Canada’s Shady Elnahas for a trip to the bronze-medal match.
Paltchik took control of the bout early on and looked to have the upper hand over the Egyptian-born Elnahas but the 23-year-old took the bout into golden score overtime and scored an Ippon on the Israeli to end his Olympic dream in Japan.
“This is one of the most difficult things that I have had to deal with in my life,” explained Paltchik. “I don’t even know how to express myself. I feel awful, just awful. I wanted to be able to celebrate and now I am suffering. The majority of the bout was in my hands and I saw that my opponent was tiring, but all of a sudden it slipped through my fingers. I gave my heart and my soul and that is why I am hurting so much now.”

Also in judo, Inbar Lanir won her opening bout in impressive fashion as she disposed of Mongolia’s Munkhtsetseg Otgon in a mere 18 seconds via an Ippon, raising hopes that perhaps the 21-year-old, who was making her Olympic debut, had more magic up her sleeve. However, in the round of 16, the Under-23 European Gold medalist fell to the world’s sixth-ranked -78kg Judoka Mayra Aguiar from Brazil in just 20 seconds via Ippon to end her Tokyo games.
On Friday the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist Ori Sasson will compete in the +100kg category as he will look to bring home Israel’s first judo medal while Raz Hershko will be in action in Women’s +78kg against Tahani Alqahtani from Saudi Arabia.
The bout between the Israeli and the Saudi Arabian raised plenty of eyebrows around the world with much pressure being placed on Alqahtani not to face off against Hershko. However, the Saudi Minister of Sport has authorized that the match take place and that Alqahtani will not withdraw. Earlier in the week, Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool and Algeria’s Fethi Nourine both withdrew in order not to face Tohar Butbul.
The competition will continue on Saturday and will see the judo team event for both the men and women take place.
In the pool, Aviv Barzelay punched her ticket to the Women’s 200m Backstroke semifinals with a time of 2:11:13, good for 15th place and a chance to move into the final on Friday morning.
“This was my first time in the water and I waited for this moment all week,” said the 19-year old. “My goal is to go as far as I can and I will consult with my coaches as to what I can do better as I prepare for the semifinals.”
The Mixed 4×100 Relay Team advanced to the finals as Anastasia Gorbenko, Andi Murez, Gal Cohen Groumi and Itay Goldfaden scored a time of 3:43:94m, good enough for eighth place overall and a chance to surprise on Saturday morning.
“This is just crazy,” exclaimed Goldfaden. “We are the first Israeli mixed team to advance to a final and we are still in shock. This was the swim of our lives.”
Gorbenko also spoke about the accomplishment.
“Amazing with this team being the first is just so special for all of us here. We can’t wait for the final.”
In men’s action, Tomer Frankel swam the 100m Butterfly in 51:99s, which placed him 21st, but was not good enough to advance to the next stage of the competition. On Friday, Meiron Cheruti and Andi Murez will take part in the 50m Freestyle.
Katy Spychakov won’t be returning from Tokyo with a medal around her neck despite having an unbelievable performance in RS:X races 10, 11, 12. Spychakov had a rough day on Wednesday and dropped out of the medal race after falling to seventh place, but did absolutely everything in her power on Thursday in an attempt to put herself in a position to take a spot on the podium.
In race 10, Spychakov finished in first place and followed that up with fourth place in race 11. The last race of the day saw Spychakov once again snatch first place, but she also needed her opponents to falter in order to race for a medal on Saturday. However, that was not to be as Spychakov moved up to only sixth place and the best that she will be able to finish the competition will be in fourth overall.
In Men’s RS:X, Yoav Cohen was also eliminated from medal contention after beginning the day in seventh place overall. Cohen, who was within striking distance of staying in the race for a medal, finished race 10 and 11 in sixth and fourth places, respectively. However, in the last race of the day Cohen finished a disappointing 12th and remained in seventh position after 12 races and will enter the final day without a chance to close the gap to third place.
Noya Baram and Shachar Tibi were back in action in women’s Two Person Dinghy 470 as they looked to build on their fourth-place finish on their first day of competition on Wednesday. However, they got off to a rough start and ended race 3 in 14th place, but were able to salvage their second day of competition in the water with a third-place finish in race 4, which placed them sixth overall after four races. The pair will continue their competition on Friday with races 5 and 6.
Shay Kakon returned to the water after a day off in the women’s Laser radial event and finished race 7 and 8 in 34th and 39th places, respectively, placing her in 35th position overall as she will now prepare for races 9 and 10 on Friday morning.
Athletics will get under way on Friday as Diana Vaisman will attempt to qualify for the Women’s 100m while Selamawit Teferi will participate in the 5,000m qualification. Hanna Minenko will also be in action as she will try to qualify for the Triple Jump, an event that she finished in fifth place overall at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
On Saturday in archery, Itay Shanny will square off against Chih-Chun Tang from Chinese Taipei in the round-of-16 after eliminating two of the top competitors earlier in the week.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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