Tokyo 2020: Medal Dream Cracks as Israeli Judoka Paltchik Loses Chance at Bronze

Israeli judo delegation will most likely come home from Olympics without any medals

Itamar Katzir
Amnon Harari
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Israeli judoka Peter Paltchik in his bout against Shady El Nahas, in Tokyo, on Thursday.
Israeli judoka Peter Paltchik in his bout against Shady El Nahas, in Tokyo, on Thursday.Credit: Sergio Perez / Reuters
Itamar Katzir
Amnon Harari

TOKYO – Israeli judoka Peter Paltchik lost in the consolation bracket in the Men's -100 kilogram event on Thursday, dashing one of the Israeli judo team's best hopes for a medal in the Tokyo Olympics.

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Paltchik lost in this round to Canadian Shady El Nahas, who made a good showing in his early bouts before being knocked out in the quarterfinals.

At the beginning of the match, Paltchik looked better than he had in his morning fights. He went on the offensive repeatedly and was not far from bringing the Canadian down. But El Nahas managed to evade Paltchik's efforts, and during the “Golden Score” overtime, carried out a brilliant ippon and threw Paltchik over on to his back.

Paltchik entered the consolation bracket on Thursday morning after losing in the quarterfinal to Japan’s Aaron Wolf, the world champion in 2017 and the bronze medal winner from the World Championships in 2019. Paltchik opened the fight hesitantly, and received a penalty, as did his opponent.

With forty seconds left in the bout, Wolf managed to score a point by using his leg to knock Paltchik down on the mat, thereby earning a waza-ari. He then continued to work Paltchik on the mat till the clock ran out. Paltchik couldn't free himself, and lost – and moved into the consolation round.

Earlier on Thursday, in the round of sixteen, Paltchik faced off with Mongolian judoka Otgonbaatar Lkhagvasuren, who is ranked 15 in the world. They both opened the fight hesitantly and also reached the Golden overtime – but Paltchik was more aggressive and won.

Earlier in the day, Israeli judoka Inbar Lanir made it into the elimination round of sixteen in the Women’s -78 kilogram event, after an ippon in just 18 seconds over Mongolian Munkhtsetseg Otgon. In the round of sixteen, she competed against Mayra Aguiar from Brazil, ranked eighth in the world, but lost due to an early ippon that put an end to her Olympic hopes.

Israeli judoka Inbar Lanir competing against Brazil's Mayra Aguiar, in Tokyo, on Thursday.Credit: Sergio Perez / Reuters

After her loss, Lanir came down from the mat crying bitterly. Her coach, Shani Hershko, was heard telling her: “In the Olympics, if you don’t attack, the other one will attack. I’m proud of you … Now it’s over, there’s nothing to do … But you’ll come back here to take a medal. I’m very proud of you.”

When asked about how she felt about the fight, Lanir said she was “disappointed.” She also explained what caused her loss: “I wasn’t determined enough to be aggressive enough from the beginning, and I waited, I needed to be more aggressive and more active and not to wait for her. I should have attacked first or at least arranged the hold, so I could get out of a situation that wasn’t comfortable for me, but I didn’t.”

Lanir also commented on Aguiar’s power, after she flipped her over with a fast ippon. “It was the first time that we fought, but she is really strong, she has a very good record, but I’m capable of beating her and I know it.” In spite of the tears, she knows it is only one step on the road to a promising career: “It’s part of the way. It’s very disappointing, but everything’s okay.”

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