If the Israeli public expected a lot from its champion Peter Paltchik in the men's -100kg division, they expected just as much, if not more, from the Israeli star of +78kg, Raz Hershko, whose ability to ignite the crowds of judo enthusiasts is well known.
Final, Raz HERSHKO (ISR) vs Kayra SAYIT (TUR)

The public was not disappointed as, round after round, Hershko produced spectacular and efficient judo. There was ippon against Diana Semchenko (UKR) in the first round, then ippon against Larisa Ceric (BIH) in her second match and finally ippon against Milica Zabic (SRB) in the semi-finals. This faultless morning session opened the doors of the final to the Israeli judoka.

Gold medallist, Raz HERSHKO (ISR)

However, her last match promised to be tough and committed against Kayra Sayit (TUR), who earlier in the day had allowed herself to upset the legend of the category, the Cuban Idalys Ortiz, four times an Olympic medallist and seven times a world medallist.

Gold medallist, Raz HERSHKO (ISR)

When the two athletes, Raz Hershko in front, entered the stadium, the sound level suddenly rose massively. Visibly a little less powerful than her opponent, the Israeli did not seem to be bothered and as often as she could she dropped under Sayit to launch powerful attacks that led the Turkish judoka to be penalised twice for passivity.

She still seemed to be more powerful than Hershko but when, during the next sequence, Sayit broke the grip, she was penalised a third time. It was gold for Raz Hershko and an explosion of joy in the crowd. This was a tactical win, but a beautiful tactical win, a well deserved one that offered a second gold medal to the host country after Sagi Muki's victory yesterday.

Bronze medal contest, Yuli Alma MISHINER (ISR) vs Milica ZABIC (SRB)

The first match for a bronze medal opposed Karen Stevenson (NED), whose bet to climb into the +78kg category is bearing its first fruits, and Rochele Nunes (POR), a regular at this level. Once again, today Karen Stevenson played with her weapons and cleverness, pushing Rochele Nunes to be penalised three times and therefore take a disqualification. It must be said that several of Stevenson’s attacks were really close to scoring; a well deserved bronze medal for her.

Bronze medallist, Karen STEVENSON (NED)

Israel had an other chance to win a bronze medal with Yuli Alma Mishiner (ISR), opposed by Milca Zabic (SRB). The bronze medal contest taking place before the final meant the entry of Yuli Alma Mishiner was like an appetiser for what the public was about to deliver for the final and every attempt from the Israeli competitor received massive encouragement from the stands. Unfortunately the first successful attack came from Zabic, who scored a waza-ari before concluding with an immobilisation for ippon. Once again the public showed great respect for the athletes when the bronze medal went to Milca Zabic, the second one of this kind for the Serbian judoka.

Medals cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Lior RAZ, International Judo Federation Ambassador, Creator and Well Acclaimed Actor and Mr Moshe PONTI, Member of the IJF Coordination Committee of Directors and President of the Israeli Judo Association

Final (+78 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (+78 kg)

See also