Israeli judoka beats Chinese rival in Rio, keeping medal hopes alive
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Israeli judoka beats Chinese rival in Rio, keeping medal hopes alive

Yarden Gerbi could still win bronze after series of losses in under-73 kg competition puts gold and silver out of reach

Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi battles Brazil's Mariana Silva in the Olympic women's judo under-63 kilograms competition in Rio de Janeiro, August 9, 2016. (screen shot Channel 55)
Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi battles Brazil's Mariana Silva in the Olympic women's judo under-63 kilograms competition in Rio de Janeiro, August 9, 2016. (screen shot Channel 55)

Israel’s hopes of bringing home a gold or silver medal from the 2016 Olympics in Rio dimmed Tuesday as judoka Yarden Gerbi was knocked out of the quarterfinals by Brazil’s Mariana Silva.

Gerbi and Silva grappled to a regular time stalemate in the under-73 kg competition, but Silva ultimately scored the decisive point almost two minutes into overtime.

The judoka still has a shot at the bronze later in the evening, and fellow team members Or Sasson and Linda Bolder are still in the running.

Gerbi defeated China’s Yang Junxia in the repechage part of the women’s under-63 kilogram Olympic judo competition, putting her one win away from the bronze-medal match.

She has one last match ahead of her, with either Holland’s Anicka van Emden or Austria’s Kathrin Unterwurzacher.

The loss follows a string of defeats for Israeli athletes at the Games. On Monday, judoka Sagi Muki lost in the men’s lightweight judo semifinals.

Israeli judoka Sagi Muki lies on the mat after he loses to Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia in the fight for the bronze medal in the men's under 73kg judo competition at the Olympic Games in Rio on August 8, 2016 (screen shot: Channel 56)
Israeli judoka Sagi Muki lies on the mat after he loses to Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia in the fight for the bronze medal in the men’s under 73kg judo competition at the Olympic Games in Rio on August 8, 2016 (screen shot: Channel 56)

Monday also saw Sergy Rikhter, Israel’s great Olympic hope in the men’s 10m air rifle, finish a disappointing 14th place with 623.8 points.

Rikhter was expected to finish in the top eight among 50 contenders and move to the next round, but failed to make the cut.

In 2012, Rikhter was one point away from making the championship round. He was European champion in 2013.

On Sunday, four Israeli athletes were knocked out of the Games, including judokas Golan Pollack and Gili Cohen, who both lost in the first round of their respective competitions.

Israel's Gili Cohen (in white) competes with Mauritius' Christianne Legentil, during their women's -52kg judo contest match of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, August 7, 2016. (AFP/Jack GUEZ)
Israel’s Gili Cohen (in white) competes with Mauritius’ Christianne Legentil, during their women’s -52kg judo contest match of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, August 7, 2016. (AFP/Jack GUEZ)

Swimmer Amit Ivry, meanwhile, finished the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:09, falling short of the top 16 and missing her chance to move on to the semifinals.

A short while later, Yakov Toumarkin finished the 100-meter backstroke in 54.66 seconds, which was not enough to push him into the next round.

On Saturday, Israeli judoka Shira Rishoni was disqualified from the Olympic Games in Rio on a technical foul during her first bout.

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