TOKYO (AP) – Israel has won a bronze medal in the Olympic debut of mixed team judo, shocking the Russian team in the medal bout.
The Israeli players won four of their five bouts over the Russians to clinch bronze. The medal is just the 11th won by Israel in all sports since it began competing in the Olympics in 1952.
Israel didn’t win an individual medal during the first seven days of the Tokyo tournament, but it put on a stellar performance during the team event, which consists of six individual bouts against another nation. Israel beat Italy and narrowly lost to powerhouse France before knocking off Brazil to reach the bronze medal match.
Heavyweight Peter Paltchik pulled the upset of the medal round, beating No. 1-ranked Russian Tamerlan Bashaev.
Timna Nelson Levy, who was sporting two partial black eyes by the end, clinched the medal and set off a wild celebration on the tatami by throwing Daria Mezhetskaia for the final victory.
Germany won the other bronze.