Israel is home to some of the world’s best judo players. They have consistently competed at the highest levels of international judo competition, earning medals in the Olympics and World Championships.
The Israeli Judo team is comprised of strong athletes with diverse backgrounds and experience, and they have consistently been one of the top teams in the world. We will take a closer look at some of the best judo players in Israel and their accomplishments.
1. Timna Nelson Levy
Timna Nelson-Levy is an accomplished judoka from Israel. She competes in the under 57kg weight category, and is a European Judo Championships medalist, having won a bronze medal in the 2016 championships.
In 2020, she had the honor of representing her country in the Summer Olympics. Nelson-Levy has proven to be a talented and formidable athlete in her respective weight category. She is a great example of a dedicated judoka who has worked hard to reach her goals.
Her impressive performance in the 2016 European Judo Championships was a testament to her dedication and skill. Her presence at the 2020 Summer Olympics further cemented her place among the top judokas in the world.
Although she did not win a medal, her participation in the Summer Olympics signified a huge accomplishment for both her and her home country. Timna Nelson-Levy has been an inspiration to many and is an example of what dedication and hard work can achieve.
She continues to strive for great success in the world of judo and is a shining example of Israel’s commitment to excellence in the sport.
2. Raz Hershko
Raz Hershko is an accomplished Israeli judoka who recently represented her home country at the 2020 Summer Olympics. She is a member of the Israeli National Judo Team and has been competing in the sport since she was a young girl.
Hershko has achieved great success in her career, having won numerous medals in international competitions.
She has also earned a black belt in judo, proving her mastery of the sport.At the 2020 Summer Olympics, Hershko became the first Israeli judoka to compete in the Olympic Games.
She competed in the women’s under 63 kg event and put up a strong performance, though she was eliminated in the early rounds.
Regardless, her appearance was an important milestone for Israeli Judo, showing the country’s immense talent and skill. Hershko’s Olympic appearance is also a testament to her own dedication and hard work.
She has worked tirelessly to hone her skills and improve her technique, and her results prove that her efforts have paid off. Going forward, she will no doubt continue to make her country proud and represent Israel on the world stage.
3. Or Sasson
Ori Sasson is an Israeli Olympian who made history by becoming the only athlete from Israel to ever win two Olympic medals. He won a bronze medal in the 100 kg category at the 2016 Summer Olympics and another one at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
His success catapulted him into the spotlight, becoming a symbol of strength and determination in his home country. Sasson began his judo career in 2005, competing in the under 21 category of the Israel National Judo Championship.
He won the championship twice and even represented Israel at the European Judo Championships in 2007.
In 2012 he competed in the European Judo Championships and the World Judo Championships, where he achieved the highest ranking of any Israeli athlete in the history of the sport. From there, Sasson went on to represent Israel at the 2016 Rio Olympics and won a bronze medal.
He followed that up with another bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. His impressive accomplishments demonstrate his dedication and passion for the sport of judo, and he is an inspiration to many aspiring athletes.
4. Peter Paltchik
Peter Paltchik is an extraordinary athlete. He was born in Ukraine and is currently an Israeli judoka, competing in the under 100 kg weight category. His accomplishments are impressive, as he is currently the number one-ranked Judoka in the world.
In September 2019, Paltchik achieved another major success when he won the Israeli championship in the 100 Kg category.
This victory was the result of many years of dedication to the sport, and it demonstrates his remarkable talent in judo. Paltchik is an inspiration to many aspiring judoka, as he has achieved great success despite his humble beginnings.
He has proven that with hard work and dedication, it is possible to reach the highest levels of the sport. As he continues to compete and progress, it will be exciting to watch what else he can achieve.
5. Yarden Gerbi
Yarden Gerbi is an Israeli former judoka world champion. She is a remarkable athlete and has achieved several notable accomplishments in her career.
Gerbi has achieved the highest level of success in her sport as she won the gold medal at the 2013 World Judo Championships in the -63 kg category.
This was a spectacular achievement as it is the pinnacle of success for a judoka and it shows the amount of hard work and dedication that she put into her training. Moreover, Gerbi also won an Olympic bronze medal competing for Israel at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Women’s 63 kg Judo.
This is an even bigger achievement than the gold medal at the World Championships as it shows the level of excellence that Gerbi has achieved in the international arena. Overall, Yarden Gerbi has been an exceptional athlete throughout her career and has achieved a great deal of success.
Her gold medal at the World Championships and Olympic bronze medal show the level of skill and dedication that she has put into her sport. She is an inspiration to many aspiring Judokas and is a role model for women in the sporting world.
6. Li Kochman
Li Kochman is an Israeli judoka who is competing in the under 90 kg weight category. He has achieved great success in his career, most recently evidenced by his silver medal win in the 2019 European Judo Championships.
His impressive performance at the championships was a testament to his dedication and hard work in the sport. Kochman is no stranger to success in judo. He has competed in numerous international competitions and has been successful in many of them.
He has also been a member of the Israeli national team since 2013. His experience and knowledge in the sport have enabled him to reach the highest levels of success. Kochman’s achievements in the sport have been well-documented.
His silver medal win in the 2019 European Judo Championships was just the latest in a long line of impressive results.
He has also been successful in other international competitions, such as the 2014 World Championships and the 2015 Grand Prix in Tel Aviv. Kochman is an inspiration for many young judokas around the world.
His success is a testament to the hard work and dedication that is needed to achieve success in the sport. He is also an example of how an athlete can achieve success, even in the face of adversity.
His story is one of inspiration and determination and serves as an example to all aspiring judokas.
7. Tohar Butbul
Tohar Butbul is an Israeli judoka who competes in the under 73 kg weight category. He has achieved significant success in his weight class, winning two silver medals at major events.
In 2019, Butbul won a silver medal at the Judo World Masters, and he followed up that performance with another silver medal at the 2021 European Championships.
Additionally, he won bronze medals at two Grand Slam events in 2017, including the Paris Grand Slam and the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. His success in judo shows his dedication to the sport and his commitment to excellence.
8. Inbar Lanir
Inbar Lanir is an Israeli Olympic judoka and world champion. She achieved her title of world champion in 2023 in the under 78 kg weight class. Inbar has been very successful in her judo career, earning gold medals at the 2023 World Masters and 2023 Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam.
She is a shining example of what dedication and hard work can achieve, and her success is a great source of pride for the Israeli judo community.
Inbar is an inspiration to aspiring judokas everywhere, and her story is a testament to the power of setting goals and striving for excellence.
9. Gefen Primo
Gefen Primo is an Israeli judoka who specializes in the under 52 kg weight category. She is a very accomplished athlete and has achieved a great deal of success in her sport.
Primo is a two-time bronze medalist at the World Judo Championships, having won a bronze medal in 2021 and 2018. Additionally, she also won a bronze medal at the 2021 European Judo Championships.
This is a remarkable achievement considering that she is competing against some of the best judokas in the world. Primo is a great ambassador for the sport of judo, and her success is an inspiration for many aspiring judokas.
She is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication, and her accomplishments are sure to go down in the history books.
10. Ariel Ze’evi
Ariel “Arik” Ze’evi is a highly accomplished Judoka, earning a dan 6 black belt in the martial art.
He had a long and successful career in half-heavyweight Judo competitions, culminating in his winning an Olympic Bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the 100 kg event in Athens.
This medal was awarded for his hard work and dedication to the sport, showing that he was among the best judokas in the world.
Ze’evi’s career highlights also included numerous national and international medals, as well as a number of titles in various Judo tournaments, which further demonstrates his prowess in the martial art.
His impressive achievements made him a respected figure in Judo circles, and his prowess continues to inspire others to strive for excellence in the sport.
11. Tal Flicker
Tal Flicker is an Israeli judoka who has achieved great success in his career. He competes in the under 66 kg weight category and has won multiple medals at various international competitions.
In 2017, he won a bronze medal at the World Judo Championships, followed by another bronze medal at the 2018 European Judo Championships. Just two years later, Tal Flicker earned a silver medal at the 2020 European Judo Championships.
This is a testament to his tremendous dedication and hard work, as he has continuously improved his skills and competed against the best judoka in the world. He is a role model for athletes all over the world, and a source of pride for the Israeli people.
12. Golan Pollack
Golan Pollack is an Israeli judoka, who is an Olympic athlete in the half-lightweight category. He has achieved great success in his career, having won a bronze medal in the 2015 World Judo Championships.
This accomplishment is a significant one, as it is a major international competition in judo. Furthermore, Pollack had the honor of representing his country at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He stands at a height of 1.75m (5′ 9″) and weighs 66kg (146lbs).
This makes him an ideal weight for his chosen sport and highlights his dedication to reaching peak physical condition. Pollack’s success is a testament to his hard work and dedication, and he is truly an inspiring figure in the world of sports.
13. Baruch Shmailov
Baruch Shmailov is an Israeli judoka who competes in the -66 kg weight category. He has achieved great success in this category, both in the World Masters and in the rankings. In 2022, Shmailov won a gold medal in the World Masters held in Jerusalem.
He also won a bronze medal in the 2017 World Masters and a silver medal in the 2018 World Masters. As of December 2022, Shmailov is ranked #3 in the -66 kg weight category, a testament to his skill and dedication to the sport.
His success is an inspiration to other judokas and shows that with hard work and dedication, anyone can reach their goals.
14. Yael Arad
Yael Arad is an Israeli judoka who made history when she became the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal. Her achievement placed her among the country’s most successful athletes and gave the judo sport a huge boost, introducing it to a much bigger audience.
After retiring from competitive judo, Arad moved into the business world and currently serves as a CEO. She is an inspiration to many, having shown that hard work and dedication can bring success both on and off the judo mat.
15. Gal Yekutiel
Gal Yekutiel is an Israeli judoka who is currently competing in the extra lightweight weight category. Judo is a Japanese martial art and Olympic sport in which two opponents engage in a hand-to-hand combat and use various holds and throws to score points.
It is an internationally recognized sport and has been an Olympic event since 1964. Yekutiel has been competing in judo since he was a young boy. He has trained hard and dedicated himself to the sport, and has become a successful judoka.
He has competed in various international judo competitions, including the Junior World Championships in 2015 and the Grand Prix in 2017.
He has won several medals, including a bronze medal at the Grand Prix in 2017. Yekutiel currently competes in the extra lightweight weight category. This weight class is for athletes who weigh less than 73 kg.
In this weight class, Yekutiel has achieved great success, winning multiple medals at international competitions.
He has also competed in the World Championships and has achieved a top-five finish on two occasions. Yekutiel’s dedication to judo has earned him the respect of his peers and coaches.
He is a highly respected judoka in the international scene and is a great example of dedication and hard work. Yekutiel has achieved great success in the extra lightweight weight category and is an inspiration to aspiring judokas all over the world.
16. Ehud Vaks
Ehud “Udi” Vaks is an Israeli judoka who has achieved great success in the sport. He is a world-class judoka, having won a bronze medal at the 1998 Under-20 World Judo Championships in the under 60 kg weight class.
This was a remarkable feat, especially considering the high level of competition at the event. Vaks has been competing in judo since a young age and has developed a strong skillset and technique over the years.
He has won numerous medals in national and international competitions, including the bronze medal at the Under-20 World Judo Championships.
This success is testament to his dedication and hard work, as well as his natural talent for the sport. Vaks has become an inspiration to many, showing that with determination and hard work, anything is possible.
He is a shining example of what can be achieved in the sport of judo and is looked up to by many, both in Israel and abroad.
17. Alice Schlesinger
Alice Schlesinger is an incredibly accomplished athlete. She has had a long career as a judoka and sambo competitor, representing her native country of Israel from the time of her birth until 2014.
In 2014, however, she began competing for Great Britain, a country to which she gained citizenship through her English-born mother. This change in national allegiance was due to a dispute Schlesinger had with the Israeli national federation.
Schlesinger has achieved great success in her chosen sports, having won multiple gold medals in the World and European championships. She has also been the Israeli National champion in Judo and Sambo multiple times.
In addition, she is a two-time winner of the World Combat Games. Alice Schlesinger has certainly made a name for herself in the world of judo and sambo. Her impressive career and impressive wins are a testament to her dedication and hard work.
She is an inspiration to other athletes, showing that with enough drive and passion, anything is possible.
18. Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen is an accomplished retired Olympic judoka from Israel. She has achieved great success as an athlete, winning the silver medal at the 2013 European U23 Championships and the bronze medal at the 2014 European Judo Championships.
She was also chosen to represent her country at the 2020 Summer Olympics, a testament to her remarkable talents. Cohen’s competitive career has been a long and successful one, and she is truly an inspiration to aspiring judokas all over the world.
19. Artiom Arshansky
Artiom “Tommy” Arshansky is a well-known judoka from Israel. He is renowned for competing in the extra lightweight weight category in judo.
His accomplishments include representing Israel at the 2012 Summer Olympics and winning a bronze medal at the 2013 European Judo Championships. Arshansky has trained hard to become an elite judoka.
He puts in many hours of practice and dedication to the sport, perfecting his technique and honing his skills. As a result of his hard work, he has achieved great success in the sport. His Olympic experience has been one of the highlights of his career.
He competed in the -60 kg weight category and was able to hold his own against some of the world’s top judokas. He was able to make a strong showing and ultimately left with a valuable experience. The 2013 European Judo Championships was another great success for Arshansky.
He was able to take home the bronze medal in the extra lightweight division. His success was a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. Artiom “Tommy” Arshansky is a highly accomplished judoka with many great accomplishments.
He has competed at the highest levels of the sport, representing Israel in the Olympics and medalling in the European Judo Championships. He is an inspiration to many aspiring judokas and serves as an example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication to the sport.
20. Tahani Alqahtani
Tahani Alqahtani is an international level judoka from Saudi Arabia who was able to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics. She was eventually eliminated after losing to her Israeli counterpart, Raz Hershko.
Despite this, she kept her focus and determination, which was rewarded with her participation at the 2021 World Judo Championships. Alqahtani is an inspiration to many, as she has shown that even after a setback it is possible to keep striving for success.
Her ability to remain resilient and dedicated to her sport has earned her the respect of many. Her performance at the World Judo Championships just goes to show that she is an incredibly talented athlete who is capable of achieving great things.
21. Fethi Nourine
Fethi Nourine is an Algerian judoka who specializes in the under 73 kg weight category. He has enjoyed considerable success in his career, having won three African Judo Championships.
However, his successes in the sport have been overshadowed by an incident at the 2020 Summer Olympics. During the event, Nourine refused to fight an Israeli athlete, which resulted in him being suspended by the International Judo Federation until July 2031.
This suspension has been met with mixed reactions from the international judo community, with some arguing that it is excessive and unfair while others believe that Nourine was within his rights to refuse to fight the Israeli athlete.
Despite the suspension, Nourine remains a prominent figure in the Algerian judo community and his reputation as a judoka is still intact.
22. Oren Smadja
Shay-Oren Smadja is a significant figure in the world of Judo. He is a celebrated Israeli judo coach and former competitive judoka. Smadja made history when he won an Olympic bronze medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics.
This milestone made him the first Israeli male to ever win an Olympic medal, and the second Israeli overall after Yael Arad. Arad had won the silver medal in the judo competition the day before Smadja won the bronze.
Smadja’s accomplishment was a monumental event for Israel, and it has been remembered and celebrated ever since.
He has since become an inspiration to many aspiring athletes in Israel, and his success has opened the door for more Israeli athletes to compete and succeed on the global stage.
Smadja has become an icon in Israel, and his legacy serves as an example of what can be achieved when one puts in the hard work and dedication.
23. Maya Goshen
Maya Goshen is an Israeli judoka, or judo practitioner, who competes for the Israel national judo team.
She is a member of the team and has been competing in the sport for some time. At the 2022 World Judo Championships Mixed team event, Goshen was part of the Israeli team that went up against the other teams in the competition.
In the end, the Israel national judo team was victorious, winning the bronze medal.
The win was largely thanks to Goshen’s decisive victory in the final match, which sealed the team’s success. Goshen’s performance at the 2022 World Judo Championships was a major milestone for her career.
Not only did she help her team win a medal, but she also showed that she is a formidable judoka with the skill and determination to take on tough opponents. Her success has inspired many others to follow in her footsteps and take up the sport.
24. Michal Feinblat
Michal Feinblat is an accomplished Israeli judoka who has achieved remarkable success in her career. She has won five Israeli senior titles in the women’s half-lightweight division between 2000 and 2004, an impressive feat.
Furthermore, she has earned a total of eleven medals in her career, a testament to her hard work and dedication. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, she represented her homeland of Israel in the 52-kg class.
She was one of the few athletes from her country to compete at these prestigious games, and her inclusion was a matter of great pride. Despite her skill and determination, she was unable to secure a medal in the event.
Michal Feinblat has served as an inspiration to all aspiring judokas, as she has managed to reach the highest level of competition despite the odds.
She has shown that it is possible to achieve great things with hard work and dedication, and her career is a testimony to that fact.
25. Moshe Ponte
Moshe Ponte is a highly accomplished individual in the world of judo. He is a former Olympic judoka, having competed in the sport at the highest level. He is also the current president of the Israel Judo Association. Ponte was born in Israel and is Jewish.
He has spent his life dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the sport of Judo. He has achieved the highest honors in the sport and is now giving back through his role as president of the Israel Judo Association.
Through his leadership, he is attempting to ensure the sport remains strong and continues to grow in Israel. Ponte is an inspiration to many, and his accomplishments in Judo provide a great example for others to strive to achieve.
He is a reminder that hard work and dedication can take you to the highest heights in any field. His story of success is an inspiration to many, and it is a testament to his dedication to his sport and his country.
26. Mohamed Abdalarasool
Mohamed Abdalarasool is a Sudanese judoka who competes in the under 73 kg category. He is a successful competitor, having competed in a number of events both in Africa and beyond.
In 2019, he competed in the Judo at the African Games, which is an event held every four years and features athletes from all over the continent competing in various sports.
He also took part in the 2021 African Judo Championships, an event held annually and featuring some of the top judokas from the region. His performances at these tournaments have been impressive, and it is clear that he is a rising star in the world of judo.
27. Vahid Sarlak
Vahid Sarlak is an impressive athlete, having achieved a remarkable 18 medals in Judo, an ancient Japanese martial art. He is both Iranian and German, having been born in Tehran and having grown up in Germany.
Sarlak began his Judo practice at the young age of 13, in 1994, and competed for the first time in 2000, in the Asian Youth Championships in Hong Kong.
He won his first silver medal there, and since then has earned a total of 5 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze medals at different international contests. Sarlak has achieved much in his Judo career, and his dedication to the sport has been rewarded with a total of 18 medals.
Israel has a strong judo program and some of the best judo players in the world. These athletes have achieved success in international competitions and have set a strong example for future generations of judokas in Israel.
The country has a proud judo tradition and a highly competitive national team that continues to produce world-class talent. With the support of the government and local judo clubs, Israel will continue to be a major player in the sport of judo for years to come.
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