The Tokyo Olympics are approaching and the Israeli representatives in judo continue to try and gain more ranking points to achieve the Olympic criteria. Raz Hershko (over 78 kg) went up today (Sunday) to fight for the bronze in the Tbilisi Grand Slam through the House of Consolation. Inbar Lanir (up to 78 kg) lost in the semifinals and will also compete for the bronze through the House of Consolation. In the men, Lee Kochman (up to 90 kg) lost by half and will compete for the bronze in the consolation house.
In the women’s team, the Israeli team needs at least one representative in the high weights of 78 kg and above, in order to be able to participate in the Olympic team competition in Japan in the summer – and to that end, Nir and Hershko are fighting for the criterion.
Hershko started with a victory over Ukrainian and also defeated the great Croatian Ivana Mernich, but in the quarterfinals Chinese Lian Wong lost in the iPhone and fell to the consolation house. She defeated Belarusian Mariana Slutskaya and will compete for a medal against Brazilian Beatrice Sousa.
The young and impressive Nir is also chasing the ticket to Japan and she knows that if she manages to produce more medals – she may well be there. In her first fight, Lanier easily defeated Karen Leon of Venezuela, after reaching a decision in just 38 seconds. She later recorded a huge victory over Loriana Coca of Kosovo, who won a bronze medal at the World Championships about two years ago. Lanier qualified for the quarterfinals, where she defeated Chinese Zenzhenu Ma. She lost in captivity to Dutch Karen Stevenson and will face bronze against Austrian Brandt Graf.
Judai Lee Kochman, who needs to produce as many victories as possible to secure his place at the Tokyo Olympics, is the only senior official to travel to Georgia. The 25-year-old former European runner-up will try to reach the podium in this competition. Kochman opened his day of battles in the second round, defeating local Giorgi Paponashvili in penalties, then defeating an opponent from Tajikistan in Vazari, and advancing to the quarter-finals. Kochman defeated Genreib Shermukhamad and went up by half in penalties. In the half he lost to the Swedish Marcus Neiman.