Israel’s taekwondo Olympian has medal hopes dashed
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Israel’s taekwondo Olympian has medal hopes dashed

Ron Atias was hoping to have a shot at bronze in runners-up contest, but was denied when his first round opponent failed to reach finals

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli fighter Ron Atias, right, tries to kick Brazil's Venilton Teixeira during their men's taekwondo qualifying bout in the -58kg category during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, August 17, 2016. (AFP/Ed Jones)
Israeli fighter Ron Atias, right, tries to kick Brazil's Venilton Teixeira during their men's taekwondo qualifying bout in the -58kg category during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, August 17, 2016. (AFP/Ed Jones)

Israel’s taekwondo fighter Ron Atias was eliminated from the men’s under-58kg compeition at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, after his victorious rival in the first round, Brazil’s Venilton Torres Teixeira, failed to reach the finals. If Teixeira had qualified for the last stage of the competition, Atias would have been able to compete in the runners-up repechage contest for the bronze medal.

Atias, who is ranked 15th in the world in his category, was representing Israel for the first time at the Olympic Games.

The bout started badly for Atias after his opponent kicked him in the head in the first round, scoring three points. In the following round Teixeira again scored a blow to Atias’s head and pulled ahead to 8:0. However, Atias’s coach Yechiam Sharabi successfully appealed to the judges and the lead was reduced to 7:0.

By the end of the third round Teixeira had won 16 points while Atias, having been penalized for an illegal kick to the legs, scored just two points.

Israel's Ilana Kratysh (red) competes with Brazil's Gilda Maria de Oliveira (blue) in their women's wrestling 69kg freestyle qualification match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/Jack GUEZ)
Israel’s Ilana Kratysh, top, competes with Brazil’s Gilda Maria de Oliveira in the women’s wrestling 69kg freestyle qualification match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016. (AFP/Jack Guez)

Israeli women’s wrestling champion Ilana Kratysh, meanwhile, also had a chance Wednesday to take home a bronze medal in the 69kg women’s freestyle competition, despite losing her first match against Brazilian Gilda Maria De Oliveria, by 6 points to 2.

Kratysh, 26, from Haifa, is also competing in her first Olympics, and is the first Israeli woman to ever enter the wrestling competition. She began her sports training in judo before moving over to wrestling.

Ranked fifth in the world, the first-round defeat was a major upset for Kratysh, who has won several medals in European contests during her career, with an unbroken run of medals every year since 2013.

After the bout Kratysh claimed “the opponent smeared herself with oil and I couldn’t control the holds,” Channel 2 reported.

If De Oliveria wins her semifinal bout and makes it to the final, Kratysh will qualify for the runners-up contest — giving her a chance to win the bronze medal.

So far Israel has won two bronzes at the games, both of them in judo, and both in the run-off for the medal.

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