After Dramatic Day, Or Sasson Wins Israel's Second Medal in Rio Olympics

Sasson beats Cuba's Mendoza over a penalty call, after losing to French legend Teddy Riner in tense semifinal match; in earlier round, Sasson beat Egyptian rival, who roiled spectators by refusing to shake his hand.

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Or Sasson (ISR) of Israel celebrates winning the bronze medal.
Or Sasson (ISR) of Israel celebrates winning the bronze medal.Credit: Reuters
Uri Talshir
Uri Talshir

Israeli judoka Or Sasson won a bronze medal in Rio on Friday, after beating the Cuban Alex Garcia Mendoza in the consolation round in the men's 100 kilogram plus weight class.

This was Israel's second bronze in Rio, after Yarden Gerbi won third place in the women's 63 kg weight class

Mendoza, ranked 30, proved to be one of the day's greatest surprises by mounting to the consolation round. Mendosa had defeated Sasson once, in 2015, in their one and only bout so far. In Friday's match, no points were scored by either side, but Sasson won over a penalty call.

Earlier the 26-year-old Sasson had been the subject of some political drama at the games when an Egyptian rival, Islam el-Shahabi, refused the ceremonial bow or to shake Sasson's hand when the Israeli defeated him by an ippon

After Sasson's faceoff with the Egyptian, Sasson extended his hand to el-Shahabi, but the Egyptian judoka refused the gesture and was booed by the audience.

Sasson qualified for the consolation round after losing the semifinal against France's Teddy Riner. After a long and tense match, in which first Sasson and then Riner got a penalty, the French judoka managed to apply a wazari and won by points.

Earlier this week, Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi defeated Japan's Miku Tashiro to win the bronze medal in the women's 63 kilogram weight class, Israel's first medal at the Rio Olympics.

On Monday, Israeli judoka Sagi Muki lost to Georgia’s Lasha Shavdatuashvili in the bronze medal match, thus failing to win the first Israeli medal considered to be within reach at the Rio Olympics.

Egypt's Islam el-Shahabi, blue, declines to shake hands with Israel's Or Sasson, white, after losing during the men's over 100-kg judo competition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12, 2016. Credit: Markus Schreiber, AP
Teddy Riner (FRA) of France and Or Sasson (ISR) of Israel compete. Credit: Toru Hanai / Reuters

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