Medals piling up for blue-and-white

Israel sent 18 athletes to Wroclaw, its largest-ever delegation, in seven different sports.

July 30, 2017 05:14
1 minute read.
Nili Block

Nili Block. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Evyatar Paperni won Israel’s sixth medal at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland on Friday, taking a bronze in the men’s 69-kilogram Ne-Waza Ju-Jitsu competition.

The 23-year-old Paperni, a bronze medalist at last year’s world championships, defeated Talib Alkirbi of the United Arab Emirates in the fight for third place after losing to him earlier in the day.

The blue-and-white delegation has one silver and five bronze medals to its name entering the final day of competition on Sunday.

Looking to add to that tally is Nili Block, who will face Antje van der Molen of Peru for the bronze medal in the women’s 60kg muaythai competition. The 23-year-old lost to Svetlana Vinnikova of Russia 29-28 in the semifinals on Saturday.

Last year, Block added the IFMA Muaythai World Championship title to the one she won in kickboxing in 2015 after claiming the gold medal in the under-60 kilogram competition in Jonkoping, Sweden.

The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multi-sport 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.

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 in Poland.

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 on Thursday

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