Egyptian judoka refuses to shake Israeli opponent's hand
Aug 14 2016
Sasson, 25, defeated Cuba's Alex Maxell Garcia Mendoza in the bronze-medal match in the over 100-kg category.
"My son watch out, don't be fooled, or fool yourself thinking you will play with the Israeli athlete to defeat him and make Egypt happy", he said, adding "Egypt will cry; Egypt will be sad and you will be seen as a traitor and a normalizer in the eyes of your people".
From left: Israel's Or Sasson (bronze), Brazil's Rafael Silva (bronze), France's Teddy Riner (gold), Japan's Hisayoshi Harasawa (silver) celebrate with their medals following the podium ceremony of the men's +100kg judo contest of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016.
Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby received boos and whistles from Olympic spectators Friday when he refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent Or Sasson. His opponent, Or Sasson, is Israeli.
"For me it doesn't matter because I'm a professional, I only think about fighting".
El Shehaby was jeered by fans when he gave Sasson a quick nod instead of the traditional post-match bow and then backed away when Sasson extended his hand, leaving the Israeli standing alone with his arm out.
"As I said, it's in no way an excuse, but sometimes, for many reasons, athletes are unable to bring themselves to shake hands at the end and it's a shame".
Middle Eastern politics spilled onto the judo mat when an Egyptian competitor refused to shake hands with the Israeli who beat him.
Sasson said his coaches had warned him that El Shehaby might refuse to shake his hand. "I stretched out my hand, but he didn't go with it". According to him, Egyptians looked at his upcoming fight with Sasson as "a fight of life or death". He claimed in an interview with Al-Ahram that the worldwide judo rules banned handshakes (which is true, but only before a match, not after it), dismissing the boos he received from the crowd for snubbing Sasson.
Gymnast Yuri van Gelder lost his legal battle Friday to rejoin the Dutch Olympic team in Rio in time to compete in the rings final Monday.
He wrote that El Shehaby's move backfired, and the Israeli athlete ended up with more sympathy.
Female Judoka star Yarden Gerbi became the toast of Israel by claiming the country's first Olympic medal in eight years when she took a bronze in the women's under-63kg competition on Tuesday.