(photo credit: REUTERS)
Some of Israel’s top judokas are in danger of missing out on next year’s world championships in Azerbaijan after they were recently scheduled on the week of Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur falls on September 19 in 2018, meaning that Israeli judokas won’t be able to compete on either September 18 or 19. Among those judokas who are supposed to enter the fray during those two days are Olympic medalist Yarden Gerbi and Olympians Sagi Muki and Golan Pollack.
Next year’s world championships are especially significant as the judokas will be trying to pick up precious ranking points to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and improve their seeding in the Games.
Israel Judo Association chairman Moshe Ponte is set to meet with International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer in the coming days in an attempt to convince him to move the championships to a different date.
“This is a serious threat to Israeli judo,” said Ponte. “This can really hurt the athletes who want to qualify for the Olympics and also affect their draw in Tokyo. This problem requires diplomatic intervention. At the end of the day, we represent the country.”