Israel’s top judo fighters are set to miss out on taking part at next year’s World Championships in Azerbaijan after it was announced the date of the event coincides with Yom Kippur.
With Yom Kippur falling on 19 September 2018, Israeli judokas won’t be able to compete on either the 18th or 19th, which is when the likes of Gerbi – who bronze at the Rio Olympic Games last summer – Sagi Muki and Golan Pollack are all due to take part.
With the tournament offering the opportunity for judokas to pick up ranking points as they look to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and improve their seeding in the Games, Israel Judo Association chairman Moshe Ponte is set to discuss the scheduling with International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer.
He said: “This is a serious threat to Israeli judo. This can really hurt the athletes who want to qualify for the Olympics and also affect their draw in Tokyo. This problem requires diplomatic intervention. At the end of the day, we represent the country.”