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A golden day for Israel

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By Richard Good
A golden day for Israel
Copyright  AP   -   Ariel Schalit

Peter Paltchik and Or Sasson were Israel’s heroes on the final day of the Tel Aviv Judo Grand Prix, and they are our men of the day.

Paltchik was up first, and after flying through the preliminaries, he met Brazil’s Leonardo Gonçalves in the final, where a clever counter attack saw him take Israel’s first Gold of the tournament, sending the crowd into a frenzy!

A phenomenal performance

It was a phenomenal performance, with Paltchik showing his opponent great respect in front of an adoring crowd.

Every single one of the people here in the crowd knows Judo. They want to see a good fight, I think we gave them the best show.
Peter Paltchik
Gold medalist, Israel

Sylvan Adams, Co-Host of the Tel Aviv Judo Grand Prix 2020, presented Paltchik with his medal.

“Every single one of the people here in the crowd knows Judo,” said Paltchik. And you can see in their eyes they want to see a good a show, they want to see a good fight, I think we gave them the best show”

Sasson added: “We tried,” added Sasson.

“We tried yeah,” said Paltchik.

A wonderful moment for the home crowd

Sasson completed the success story. Chasing down Kim Sungmin of Korea with pure determination. After a strong dropping technique Sasson improvised to get the decisive score.

AP Photo
Or Sasson takes goldAP PhotoAriel Schalit

A second gold was a wonderful moment for the home crowd, giving the Israeli fans exactly what they came for. Israel’s minister of culture and sports Brigadier-general Miri Regev presented Sasson with his medal.

“I saw all the children look at me, look at Peter, look at Sagi, look at all the best Judoka in Israel and I felt proud because I know how much they are inspired,” said Sasson. “They started to dream their own dreams from this competition, and it’s a big privilege.”

“Yes, every second or third kid in Israel doing Judo, it’s crazy,” confirmed Paltchik.

Powell wins her first gold since 2017

Great Britain’s Natalie Powell was our woman of the day. A beautiful Ouchi Gari against Bernadette Graf of Austria earnt Powell her first Tour Gold since 2017.

"“I had some tough fights today,” said Powell. “I think particularly the semi-final against Malzahn, she is somebody that I’ve really struggled with a lot in the past. And then Graf in the final, we’ve not actually met before, but she is a really strong player and she’s been winning a lot of medals”

A beautiful Morote seoi nage

In the men’s-90 kilos former World Champion Gwak Donghan defeated Turkey’s Mikail Ozerler with a dropping Sode Tsurikomi Goshi to give South Korea its 3rd gold medal of the tournament.

Romane Dicko of France defeated Masters Champion Tessie Savelkouls of the Netherlands with a powerful Ouchi Gari attack to win the women’s over 78 kilos category.

Brazil’s Rafael Macedo gets our move of the day with a beautiful Morote seoi nage - helping to make the Tel Aviv Grand prix a great start to the 2020 Judo calendar.