Israeli Judoka Wins Silver at World Championship

Yarden Gerbi was unable to defend her judo gold medal but bags silver, dedicates victory to the Israeli people.

Ari Yashar,

Judoka Yarden Gerbi
Judoka Yarden Gerbi

Defending gold-medalist judoka Yarden Gerbi of Israel won a silver medal at the World Judo Championship's women's under 63 kilogram division on Thursday, which was held in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Gerbi faced off against Clarisse Agbegnenou of France in the final for the second time running. Last year Gerbi defeated Agbegnenou, but this year roles were reversed with the French judoka delivering an ippon decisive throw shortly into the match.

On her way to the final Gerbi defeated Miku Tashiro of Japan; Tashiro ended the championship by taking home the bronze medal to Japan, where judo was invented.

Gerbi can be comforted knowing that while she may not have secured back-to-back gold medals, she is the second Israeli to achieve multiple medals at the World Judo Championships, joining Yael Arad who won bronze in 1991 and silver in 1993.

Adding to the congratulations of Gerbi was Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua), who expressed her pride for the Israeli judoka.

The Israeli martial artist dedicated her medal to the Israeli people, the IDF and residents of the south, saying "my coach told me that I should enter the championships like a wounded animal and give my all. I proved to myself that I rise to the occasion in big events."

"There are still two more years until the Olympics and I still haven't peaked," concluded Gerbi.