Despite gold medal for Israeli judoka in Abu Dhabi: Anthem won’t be played, flag won’t be waved

Israeli judoka Tal Flicker won the gold medal at the Grand Slam event in Abu Dhabi in the U66kg division. However, the Israeli anthem will not be played during the ceremony. Moments before Flicker’s win, Israeli Gili Cohen won the bronze medal in the U52kg division.
Tal Flicker (archive) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Two Israeli judokas won medals at the Grand Slam event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Gili Cohen won the bronze medal in the U52kg division after she beat her opponent from Portugal. In accordance with the event organizers’ demands, the Israeli flag will not be waved on the podium. All of the Israeli judokas are being represented as International Judo Federation athletes.

A few minutes after Cohen’s victory, Tal Flicker won the gold medal in the U66kg division. However, the Israeli anthem will not be played in honor of his victory because of the organizers’ demands. Earlier today, Israeli judoka Shira Rishony lost to her Argentinian opponent during the match for the bronze medal in the U48 kg division.

“I’m very happy that I won the medal,” Cohen said. “It’s fun to complete a day of competition with a victory and a medal.”

Last week, JOL reported that Israel Judo Association was informed that the organizers in the United Arab Emirates have decided to ban all Israeli symbols from the competition. The association condemned the decision: “We are strongly opposed to the mixing of politics and sports and we believe that the sport is supposed to be a battle between people and not the other way around.”



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