(photo credit: Israel Judo Associatioj)
Israeli athletes bowed out early of Olympic competition on Saturday, but not before Judoka Tommy Arshansky impressed by advancing further than expected in his Olympics debut..
In the first competition featuring an Israeli athlete, swimmer Gal Nevo finished a disappointing tenth in the Olympic men's swimming 400m individual medley with a time of 4:14.77, failing to qualify for the next round. Nevo placed behind Kosuke Hagino (Japan) and Thiago Pereira (Brazil) in Heat 3.
Amit Ivri, Israel’s only female swimmer in London, finished in a weak seventh place out of eight. The 22-year-old Ivri had been tipped for success for many years after making her breakthrough as a 17 year old.
The shining light for Israel was Tommy Arshansky, who, after receiving a bye in the first round of the under-60kg Judo competition, fought Dutch judoka Jeroen Mooren in a long and intense bought. After regular and extra time failed to produce a winner, judges pronounced the blue-and-white competitor the winner by unanimous decision.
Arshansky eventually lost to Hiroaki Hiraoka (Japan,) spelling the end of his participation in the London Olympic games. The 20-year-old Arshansky was sent to London as one of the delegation’s three up-and-coming athletes, and was not expected to make it as far as he did.