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

New measures on economy – full text of president’s speech

  President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday day announced a new package of 10 measures to support employees and the economy. This is the full text of...

U.S. coronavirus deaths top 100,000 as country reopens

  The novel coronavirus has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, according to a Reuters tally on Wednesday, even as the slowdown...

Weather postpones SpaceX’s first astronaut launch from Florida

Stormy weather thwarted a landmark moment for private rocket company SpaceX and NASA on Wednesday, forcing launch directors in Florida to postpone what would...

Anastasiades unveils new package to boost economy

  President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday announced a new package of 10 measures to help the economy through the coronavirus crisis that includes liquidity, guarantees...

NPLs in the Cyprus banking system decline below €9 billion

Non-performing loans (NPLs) in the Cypriot banking system declined to €8.97 billion in the end of 2019, with the NPL rate amounting to 27.9%...

Taste

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...

Honey Balls

As you stroll down Onasagorou street in the old city of Nicosia and suddenly feel the need for something sweet, follow the smell of...

Octopus with Oregano

Ingredients: (Serves 4) 1 kg octopus ½ tsp dry oregano Pepper 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice Preparation: Clean the octopus thoroughly under cold running water. Place the octopus...

Fish meatballs

In a bowl, mix the finely chopped onion and parsley. Boil the fish, cut into small pieces and add to the bowl. Add salt...