Israel's delegation to the Olympic judo tournament in Beijing later this year grew over the weekend after Alice Schlesinger and Gal Yekutiel secured their spots alongside Arik Ze'evi. Schlesinger did it by winning a bronze medal at the European Judo Championships in Portugal, while Yekutiel's fifth-place finish was enough.
Schlesinger, 20, who was competing in the under-63 kilogram category, was labeled as an Olympic hope four years ago and won medals as a youth, but the transition to the adult competitions was not easy, also because of medical problems.
"A few months ago, I found out that I had again contracted mononucleosis," she said yesterday. "But the medical and professional staffs took care of me. I did only what was necessary. And the adjustment in activity proved itself."
"I am happy that I have reached the Olympics," she added, "but that was not my goal. I will want to win a medal in Beijing, but I am realistic. All of the competitors are 24 years old or more and are more experienced than I am. I will use the Olympics in order to pick up experience for London 2012."
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