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Kazakh jiujitsu competitor kneels during ‘Hatikvah’ after losing to Israeli

A Kazakh jiu jitsu competitor kneels while the Israeli national anthem, 'Hatikvah ' plays during a medal ceremony at the World Championships in Abu Dhabi on November 9, 2021. (Screenshot)
A Kazakh jiu jitsu competitor kneels while the Israeli national anthem, 'Hatikvah ' plays during a medal ceremony at the World Championships in Abu Dhabi on November 9, 2021. (Screenshot)

Israeli jiujitsu competitor Amit Burshtein won gold yesterday at the youth World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

But when the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah” began to play during the medal ceremony, Burshtein’s Kazakh opponent — who took home bronze in the round — knelt on the podium as if to disrespect the anthem. Another Kazakh competitor, who took home silver, remained standing in video of the incident posted on social media.

Israeli athletes frequently face opponents in international sporting competitions who refuse to compete against them or refuse to shake hands or directly address their Israeli competitors. Many athletes from Arab nations have been punished for unsportsmanlike conduct for such incidents, including at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year.

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