Yarden Gerbi takes bronze at European Championships 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Facebook)
Yarden Gerbi scaled the podium at the European judo Championships for a second
straight year on Friday, claiming a bronze medal in the under-63 kilogram event
in Budapest, Hungary, a year after taking a silver.
The 23-year-old Gerbi
lost to Tina Trstenjak of Slovenia in the quarterfinals, but rebounded with two
wins in the Repechage, beating Edwige Gwend of Italy in the battle for the
“I’m so happy,” said Gerbi, who in the absence of the retired
Arik Ze’evi and rival Alice Schlesinger entered the championships in Budapest as
Israel’s top medal prospect. “I wasn’t at my best, but coach Shany Hershko knew
what to tell me and he helped me to the medal.”
With each country only
being allowed to send one representative to the Olympics in each weight class,
Gerbi was forced to watch the London 2012 Games from home, with Schlesinger
edging her for Israel’s only berth.
However, Gerbi has no intention of
missing out on Rio 2016 and the battle with Schlesinger over the next three
years will be hotly contested.
Schlesinger boycotted the championships in
Hungary 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
refused to pay for Mosin to travel to Budapest and Schlesinger decided to remain
Israel’s Ori Sasson came tantalizingly close to claiming the
delegation’s third medal of the championships in the final day of competition on
Saturday, finishing in fifth place in the under-100kg event after losing to
France’s Cyrille Maret in the fight for the bronze medal.
claimed Israel’s first medal of the championships on Thursday, finishing the
men’s under-60kg in third place.