Tough draw for Israel's judokas

Arik Ze'evi will face Frenchman Frederic Demontfaucon in the first round of the under-100 kilogram competition.

arik zeevi 88 (photo credit: )
arik zeevi 88
(photo credit: )
Israel's judokas received extremely difficult draws on Thursday. Athens 2004 bronze medalist Arik Ze'evi will face Frenchman Frederic Demontfaucon, in the first round of the under-100 kilogram competition next Thursday. Ze'evi shared the bronze medal with Demontfaucon at this year's European Championships. Should he win Ze'evi will fight the winner of the contest between Dutch world number one Henk Grol and Brazilian world champion Luciano Correa. Israel's other representatives in the judo competitions also face tough opponents in their opening rounds. Gal Yekutiel, who competes in the under-60kg event on Saturday, will come up against Athens bronze medalist Tsagaanbaatar Hashbaatar of Mongolia. In the women's under-63kg contest, Alice Shlesinger received a first round bye, but in the second round will face the winner of the fight between European champion Lucie Decosse and her runner-up Urska Zolnir. Extra-lightweight world judo champion Ryoko Tani of Japan will begin her bid for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal against Sayaka Matsumoto of the United States. Tani was pitted against Matsumoto in the opening round in Thursday's draw involving 386 athletes from 92 countries. Tani, who has won seven world championships, is making her fifth Olympic appearance in the under-48 kilogram division and has never finished worse than second. The judo competition at the Beijing Games begins Saturday with the extra-lightweight divisions for men and women and concludes with the heavyweight finals on August 15. AP contributed to this report.