Gerbi wins bronze for Israel at Euros

Yarden Gerbi scales the podium at the Judo European Championships in Budapest for a second straight year.

 Yarden Gerbi takes bronze at European Championships 370 (photo credit: Courtesy of Facebook)
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 bronze.
“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 at home.
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.
Tommy Arshansky claimed Israel’s first medal of the championships on Thursday, finishing the men’s under-60kg in third place.