News World Israel wins judo gold in… the Emirates – Tears of joy for...

Israel wins judo gold in… the Emirates – Tears of joy for sports minister

The Israeli sports minister fought back tears as the country’s judo team won gold in a tournament in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, prompting Israel’s national anthem to be played in a country that does not formally recognise it.

Israel’s Sagi Muki, the current European champion, won the men’s under-81 kg category in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, following compatriot Tal Flicker’s gold win at the same event in 2017.

But unlike last year, when Israel’s competitors appeared under the International Judo Federation (IJF) flag rather their own, this year’s event featured Israel’s colours and the national anthem, “Hatikva”, was played for Muki’s gold win.

Sports Minister Miri Regev, who stood next to the podium after awarding the medals, visibly wept as she sang along, while Israeli television channels broke into their regular broadcasts to show the medal ceremony live.

Regev credited IJF president, Austria’s Marius Vizer, for influencing the organisers to change their policy on Israeli symbols.

“I cried as the anthem was played, Marius Vizer stood next to me and also shed a tear. It was so moving to see that he was touched by our ability to express our emotions,” Regev told Israel’s Army Radio in a phone interview.

Israeli television broadcasts noted that it came amid a flurry of outreach to Gulf Arab countries. An Israeli gymnastics team is currently attending an event in Qatar.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made a surprise visit to Oman, the first time an Israeli leader has visited the Sultanate in 22 years. Israel’s communications minister is due at a conference in Abu Dhabi next week.

Although Israelis have for years appeared at events in the Gulf, organisers have often made their participation conditional on them not displaying national symbols and they typically appeared under the flag of the sports federation running the event.

REUTERS

Photo: Israeli judoka Sagi Muki wins the gold medal in Baku. (credit: OCI)

Top Stories

19 patients at Famagusta General Hospital

Nineteen patients of COVID-19 are being treated at the Famagusta General Hospital, which operates as Reference Hospital. Out of these patients one is in the...

Pharmacies run out of flu shots

Association told CNA. As she said, people were in a state of panic to get the flu shot because of the COVID-19 situation and as...

Objections over only one woman on Deputy Ministry of Culture’s advisory group

Only one woman is part of the fledgling 16-member advisory committee on the establishment of a Deputy Ministry of Culture in Cyprus and this...

Britain says London mayor ‘bankrupted’ the capital

Britain is looking to force the body responsible for running London to sell off land and cut running costs as part of a fractious...

Nicosia hosts Cyprus-Greece-Egypt Trilateral Summit

Nicosia on Wednesday is hosting the 8th Cyprus-Greece-Egypt Trilateral Summit with the leaders of the three countries set to discuss several issues of mutual...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...