Israeli Bests Saudi in Historic Judo match at Olympics

More miracles from President Trump’s Abraham Accords. If President Trump was still in office, Israel and Saudi Arabia would today have full diplomatic relations. Kudos to Saudi judoka Tahani Alqahtani who was put under enormous pressure to boycott the match against Israel’s Raz Hershko.

Israeli judoka praises Saudi opponent’s bravery

Tahani Al-Qahtani was under heavy pressure to boycott match against Israel’s Raz Hershko, although some social media users wanted to see her “beat the devil.” Hershko: “I’m glad the sport won out.”

Related – The emergence of GCC-Israel relations in a changing Middle East

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Israeli bests Saudi in historic judo match at Olympics; medal count remains at 1

Raz Hershko, Tahani Alqahtani shake hands following fight; 2016 bronze medalist Or Sasson defeated in early stages

Defying expectations that she would forfeit the match, Saudi Arabia’s judoka Tahani Alqahtani faced off against Israel’s Raz Hershko in the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. Hershko won the fight, but lost a later round in the competition.

Historically, many athletes from Arab or Muslim nations have boycotted playing against Israelis in sporting matches. A pair of judokas forfeited their matches this week rather than face an Israeli opponent.

Hershko beat Alqahtani in the women’s +78kg category. The two even shook hands following the match.

Prior to the fight, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee announced Alqahtani would be facing the Israeli judoka, in a rare message for a country with no official ties with Israel.

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