Tommy Arshansky proved why he is regarded as one of Israeli judo’s biggest talents on Thursday, claiming a bronze medal at the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The 21-year-old was handed a place in the Israel delegation to the London Olympics last summer as one of three up-and-coming athletes, eventually falling to silver medalist Hiroaki Hiraoka of Japan in the last 16.

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Arshansky lost to Britain’s Ashley McKenzie in the quarterfinals of the under-60 kilogram competition on Thursday, but beat Czech Pavel Petrikov in the first round of the Repechage before defeating Yanislav Gerchev of Bulgaria with an ippon with 16 seconds remaining in the fight for the bronze medal.

Gili Cohen lost to Andreea Stefania Chitu of Romania in the quarterfinals of the women’s under-52kg competition and ended the event in seventh place after falling to Laura Gomez Ropinon of Spain in the Repechage.

With Arik Ze’evi and Alice Schlesinger both missing, Yarden Gerbi is the biggest name in the delegation after winning the silver medal in the under-63kg competition last year.

Gerbi will be looking to scale the podium in the championships for a second straight year on Friday.

Ze’evi, who won the European title last year, retired following his disappointing performance in London 2012, while Schlesinger is boycotting the championships due to a dispute with the Israel Judo Association.

Schlesinger, who has three European bronze medals to her name, initially fell out with the association after it demanded that she stop training with her long-time coach and partner Pavel Mosin.

A compromise was eventually reached, but the IJA then refused to pay for Mosin to travel to Budapest and Schlesinger decided to remain at home.

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