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Victory in Tokyo: Israeli judo team brings home bronze

CM 31/07/2021

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Israel took home victory and a bronze medal on Saturday morning, after a tense final competition against the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the mixed-team judo tournament.Although Israel took a blow in the first round of the match, as Gili Sharir lost to Madina Taimazova, giving the ROC a 1:0 lead, they made up lost ground  quickly as 2019 World Champion Sagi Muki won against Mikhail Igolnikov, and Raz Hershko won her round against Aleksandra Babintseva, making the score 2:1.Team Israel celebrates after winning bronze in the Judo mixed-team tournament. (Credit: REUTERS/ANNEGRET HILSE)Team Israel celebrates after winning bronze in the Judo mixed-team tournament. (Credit: REUTERS/ANNEGRET HILSE)Next up was Peter Palchik against Tamerlan Bashaev, and after a long match, he walked away with another victory for Israel, making the score 3:1.Timna Nelson Levy took on Daria Mezhetskaia in a tense round which she walked away victorious from, having won Israel the bronze medal with a match score of 4:1. 

The victory came after a disappointing start to the day, when the team lost the quarterfinals to France after a tense 4:3 tie-breaking match which Gili Sharir lost to Margaux Pinot on Saturday morning. In the first battle of the match, Timna Nelson-Levy gave Israel an early 1:0 win against France’s Sarah-Léonie Cysique.France managed to equalize in the second round, however, and Guillaume Chaine scored a victory against Tohar Butbul, bringing the score to 1:1.Sharir then won in a match against Pinot, giving Israel a 2:1 lead in an impressive round lasting more than seven minutes.Israel’s success continued when Li Kochman won his battle against Axel Clerget, bringing the score to 3:1 in Israel’s favor.France gained ground in their fifth match-up, however, and Raz Hershko lost her match to Romane Dicko, bringing the overall score to 3:2.France continued to make up lost ground with a win from Teddy Riner against Team Israel’s Or Sasson, equalizing at 3:3, taking the match to a tie-breaker.Sharir, who won her previous tie-breaker against Italy, fought Pinot in a 4:25 minute match of which Pinot was declared the winner.The Israeli team moved down to the consolation bracket where they won their match against Brazil, gaining entry into the bronze medal tournament against the ROC.The Israeli team had advanced to the quarterfinals of the mixed team competition after defeating Italy in a 4:3 tie-breaking match, with two impressive wins by Sharir against bronze medalist Maria Centracchio, giving Israel the edge.

In the first battle, Peter Paltchik won the first match-up with a quick Ippon against Nicholas Mungai after a few seconds and raised the Israeli team to 1:0. 
Timna Nelson Levy lost a long battle with a Waza-ari from Odette Giuffrida deep within the Golden Score and the Italian team equalized to 1:1.
The Italian team continued to turn the tide, as Fabio Basile defeated Tohar Butbul with a Waza-ari within the final minute of the match, running out the clock, and his team went up 2:1.
Gili Sharir brought Team Israel back into the mix with an impressive win against recent bronze medalist Maria Centracchio, pinning her to bring Israel back to a score of 2:2.
Li Kochman was next up for Team Israel, losing to Christian Parlati with an Ippon after each of them scored a Waza-ari against the other, bringing Italy to a 3:2 lead.
Raz Hershko again leveled the score for Team Israel, defeating Alice Bellandi with a Waza-ari in the Golden score after a long match to force a 3:3 tie and an additional, tie-breaking match.
Sharir was selected by lottery to take on Centracchio again in the tie-breaker, this time winning by forcing three penalties at the end of a tense six minute match.Israel will meet France in the quarterfinals. However, even if they lose to France they still have a chance of winning a bronze in the repechage tournament – in which eliminated contestants have another chance to qualify for the next round – as one would in the individual competitions.


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