A second judo athlete has dropped out of the Tokyo Olympics rather than face Israeli Tohar Butbul in the 73-kilogram division.
Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool, 28, failed to make it to his Monday round of 32 match against Butbul, 27, even though he weighted in earlier, reported the New York Post.
This follows an incident over the weekend in which Algerian Fethi Nourine was sent packing from the games after he was suspended by the International Judo Federation (IJF) on Saturday for withdrawing rather than facing Butbul in a match.
Nourine was quoted in Algerian media as saying, "We are not going to raise the Israeli flag and we will not get our hands dirty with competition against an Israeli."
Nourine was scheduled to fight Abdalrasool, who is ranked 469th. The winner of that match would have fought Butbul, who is ranked seventh.
Nourine also refused to face Butbul in a 2019 World Judo Championship match.
Instead, Butbul squared off against Victor Sterpu of Moldova, beating him and advancing to the Olympic quarterfinals against South Korean judo star An Changrim, to whom he lost.
Butbul then failed to win his match against Canadian Arthur Margelidon, in a repechage wild cart bout, ending his first Olympics with him in seventh place, reported the Daily Mail.
Japanese judoka Shohei Ono was the eventual winner of the tournament, scoring his second gold medal in the 73-kilo category, having also won gold four years ago in Rio.
Butbul did not want to talk about politics. Instead, he spoke about his disappointment at not fulfilling his goal of winning a medal, reported the Post.
“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.
“That was the goal I put into the whole of my career. It’s still too early for me to understand what happened. I wasn’t precise in executing my plan, but in judo sometimes there is a gap between how you plan and what is in reality.”