Israel Finds Its Newest Judo Champion

Alice Schlesinger wins bronze medal at European judo championship in under-63-kilograms category.

Israel may have found an heir to replace veteran judoka Arik Ze'evi: Alice Schlesinger won a bronze medal Saturday in the European judo championship in the under-63-kilograms category.

Last year critics of the judoka said she won a medal because many of her opponents had already secured a place at the Beijing Olympics. But this year's triumph proves that last year was no fluke.

"I feel good about my judo abilities," Schlesinger said. "I believe the intensive training we have undergone as a team has proved itself."

Still, the rest of Israel's judo delegation at the championship has failed to win medals; Liraz Ben Melech, for example, was ousted in the first round. Two other judokas also failed to reach the finals. Olympic medalist Arik Ze'evi will take part in the competition Sunday.

Zeevi won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and won first place twice in the European championship.

However, Zeevi failed to win a medal at the most recent Olympics in Beijing and has hinted that he may retire after the upcoming world judo championship.