A second judo athlete dropped out of the “woke” Olympics and was sent home after refusing to spar against an Israeli Olympian.
Days after the first judo athlete dropped out, Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool was sent home after refusing to bout against Israel’s Tohar Butbul. Butbul finished seven overall after losing to a South Korean athlete. However, Abdalrasool did not show up to compete against Butbul on Monday after weighing in earlier in the day.
Tohar Butbul, the Israeli Judoka Abdalrasool, would have faced. Getty Images
The International Judo Foundation (IJF) did not immediately announce a reason Abdalrasool not competing, in addition to not responding to a request for comment from the Associated Press. Sudanese Olympic officials did not immediately comment, as well.
Fethi Nourine, an athlete from Algeria, was also sent home from the Olympics and suspended by the IJF over the weekend after withdrawing to avoid the potential matchup with Butbul. Nourine said it was for his support of the Palestinians.
In 2019, at the World Judo Championships, Nourine quit there as well, right before facing an Israeli.
Butbul and the Israeli team were told that Abdalrasool had a shoulder injury; however, the reason did not seem to convince anyone. “These are things that sometimes occur in judo, so it wasn’t that odd for me,” Butbul said through a translator Monday. “I just had to wait, stay focused, and wait for my first chance.”
He did not want to talk politics. Instead, he chose to speak about this athletic ability. “I came with a pure aim to win a medal, and it’s very hard for me to bear that I didn’t fulfill my own expectations,” Butbul said. “In judo, sometimes there is a gap between how you plan and what is in reality.”