Muaythai fighter Nili Block (left) poses with the Israel flag alongside Dr. Itzik Ben- Melech, who is in charge of Ayelet’s professional department, after winning a bronze medal in the closing day of competition at the World Games yesterday.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel ended the World Games with seven medals, one silver and six bronzes, after Nili Block finished the women’s 60-kilogram muaythai event in third place in the final day of competition in Wroclaw, Poland on Sunday.
The 23-year-old beat Antje van der Molen of Peru 30-27 in the battle for the bronze medal, adding to her successes of recent years. Block claimed the IFMA Muaythai World Championship title in 2016, a year after winning the kickboxing event in 2015.
The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multisport event, meant for sports, or disciplines or events within a sport, that are not contested at the Olympic Games.
Israel sent 18 athletes to Wroclaw, its largest-ever delegation, in seven different sports: water skiing, muaythai, ju-jitsu, kickboxing, acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and dance sports.
Ayelet, the Federation of Non-Olympic Competitive Sport in Israel, is responsible for assembling Israel’s delegation to the Games.
“We are very proud,” said Ayelet president Arik Kaplan. “After four years of preparations, and a constant battle for financial support and recognition, we have proven in the best, most worthy and effective way what we can do and what we deserve.”
Israel’s first two medals at the Games were won by gymnast Linoy Ashram, who continued her triumphant summer. Ashram dominated the Maccabiah’s rhythmic gymnastics competitions earlier this month, sweeping all five gold medals, after previously taking two medals at the European Championships. She took a silver in the clubs and a bronze in the hoop at the World Games.
Israel’s third medal was won by the men’s acrobatic gymnastics team of Lidar Dana, Yannay Kalfa, Efi Efraim Sach and Daniel Uralevitch in the groups all-around final.
Kickboxer Itai Gershon and water skier Guy Firer both claimed bronze medals last Thursday, with Evyatar Paperni taking a bronze in the Ne-Waza Ju-Jitsu competition on Saturday.