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

People more important than the economy, pope says about Covid crisis

  Pope Francis said on Sunday that people are more important than the economy, as countries decide how quickly to reopen their countries from coronavirus...

Greens urge awareness campaign to protect sharks after one spotted off Limassol

    A shark filmed attacking a sea turtle more than a nautical mile off Limassol is an endangered species protected under international conventions and should...

Elderly woman reported missing in Nicosia (photo)

  Police are asking for the public to help find Elli Michaelidou, 87, who has been missing from her home in Lykavitos, Nicosia since 8.30...

Malta to reopen its airport on July 1

  Malta will reopen its airport to passenger flights on July 1, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday, as the Mediterranean island rolls back...

Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

  Gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions around the world included some openings for the faithful, including Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound which reopened to Muslim worshippers...

Taste

Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and scented yoghurt

Lay the lamb on a tray, skin side down. Rub with crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices and ground pistachios, wrap in plastic wrap and...

Easy seafood pasta with white wine sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream 1/3 cup white wine 300g spaghetti, roughly broken 300-400g of...

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...