Judokas from Iran, an Indian landing in Israel to go to the Tel Aviv Grand Slam

Despite Israel closing its borders due to new infectious strains of coronavirus, and many Israelis still being involved abroad, Indian and Iranian judokas are set to land in Israel on Sunday to take part. the Grand Avlam Tel Aviv slate from February 18 to 20.

However, it will not be that easy.

The Indian delegation, which consists of five players – three men and two women – and a coach, must fly to Istanbul in Turkey, before boarding a charter flight from there to Israel to attend at the tournament, the New Indian Express (NIE) reported.

“Tickets will be booked once the visa process is over. The judokas have options to leave on any day between February 14 and 16. There are strict covid protocols in Israel which means that the Our crew boarded a charter plane from Istanbul, “Man Mohan Jaiswal, general secretary of the Judo Federation of India (JFI), told NIE.

Along with the Indian team, Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei, who fled his country after speaking out against the regime last year, is expected to land in Israel on Sunday to take part. take part in the contest, Kan 11 News reported Sunday.

“Saeid Mollaei is set to land… in Israel tonight,” a senior official from the competition ‘s organizing committee told Kan, adding that “the competition was a sports festival outside borders. “

The competition will give participants the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

In early December 2020, the International Judo Federation (IJF) selected Tel Aviv to host one of its flagship Grand Slam tournaments in February 2021.

“It will be essential for Olympic qualification criteria, which will ensure a high level of competition. The big ones will come here to make sure they take part in the Olympics, ”said the President of the Israeli Judo Association, Moshe Ponte, during the announcement.
Israel has hosted the IJF pavilion Grand Prix tournament in Tel Aviv for the past two years. In 2018, Israel also hosted the European Judo Championships.Zachary Keizer contributed to this report.