Israelis didn't get very far yesterday at the Judo World Championships in Paris, as Soso Palelashvili and Shahar Levy suffered surprisingly early exits.
In the men's under-73kg category, Palelashvili was upset by his first opponent, Tomasz Adamiec of Poland, who controlled the match enough to register two yukos without conceding a point to the Israeli.
Ranked 28th in the world, Palelashvili was looking to win at least two rounds. However, he weakened toward the end against the Pole and drew two penalties for passivity.
"It's disappointing because I expected more than one fight from him," national team coach Oren Smadja said. "He made huge progress this year, but understand this is also his first world championship."
Levy, a silver medalist in the 2009 under-20 world championships, was ousted in the first round of the under-52kg category against her rival Kum Ae An from North Korea. An finished her off with an ippon at the 3:29 mark.
"There's no definitive answer to the question why it's not working out for me at the adult level," Levy said after the loss. "I really expected myself to be in a better place at this age. Patience is needed, and I very much believe in myself."
Israel should do better today, when world No. 6 Alice Schlesinger and world No. 9 Yarden Gerbi take to the mat.
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