Iranian Taekwondo Fighter Boycotts Final, Israeli Wins Gold by Default

Israeli taekwondo fighter Gili Haimovich, 17, wins gold medal at Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore when Iranian opponent refuses to compete against him in final.

Haaretz Service
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Haaretz Service

Israeli taekwondo fighter Gili Haimovich, 17, won a gold medal at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore on Sunday on a technical victory after an Iranian fighter Mohammed Soleimani refused to compete against him in the championship match.

Haimovich waited several minutes until it was clear Soleimani would not appear before beginning his victory celebration.

Earlier in the day, Haimovich, competing in the -48 kilograms weight class, defeated Kirk Barbosa of the Philippines in the quarterfinal and Nicholas Guzman of Argentina in the semifinals.

Haimovich's victory marked the first time an Israeli has won a medal in the youth olympics.

"It's a shame that politics prevailed over the sports fraternity and that Gili was not given the opportunity to prove himself against the Iranian on the mat," said Michel Madar, head of the Israel taekwondo federation. "In any event, [Haimovich's medal] was a huge achievement that cannot be diminished."

Philippines' Kirk Barbosa (blue) fights Israel's Gili Haimovich during the men's -48kg semifinal taekwondo competition at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore August 15, 2010.Credit: Reuters / Issei Kato

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism