Israel at the Olympics


Baseball run ends after 9th-inning loss to Dominican Republic

(JTA) – Israel’s improbable quest for an Olympic medal in baseball ended Aug. 2 after the team featuring several former Major League ballplayers fell in a close match to the Dominican Republic.

Israel led 6-5 going into the ninth inning, but a home run followed by a string of singles propelled the Dominican Republic to a final score of 7-6. The loss means that Israel will leave Tokyo with just one win out of five games, a poor showing in what many had hoped would be a breakout year for Israeli baseball.

The Associated Press had predicted that Team Israel, made up of both Israeli ballplayers and American Jews, would win a bronze medal. Instead, the team lost to Korea and the United States in opening-round games, defeated Mexico in the first round of competition, and then lost to Korea again in round two before facing the Dominican Republic.

Judo team wins bronze medal in mixed team competition

(JTA) – Israel’s top judokas failed to medal in their individual competitions, but as a team, they came together to take home a bronze medal.

“Everyone had a week that was very disappointing on a personal level, but something about this special day led to everyone giving a little more for the team, and that’s what made the difference,” judoka Peter Paltchik said. “We were eulogized too soon.”

The new teams event, featuring judokas of both genders and three different weight classes for each gender, saw Israel upset the Russian Olympic Committee by a score of 4 to 1. The bronze medal is Israel’s sixth medal in judo – half of Israel’s total Olympic medals come in the sport, which they have long dominated.

“We were fighting for years, and this is one of the biggest dreams. We just made history,” Timna Nelson Levy said after the victory. “Judo is one of the most equal sports that there is today… Our sport is giving an example for the rest of the world to act. This competition is a representation of equality. I think it is amazing.”

Artem Dolgopyat wins gymnastics gold

(JTA) – Israeli men’s gymnast Artem Dolgopyat took home the Olympic gold medal in floor exercise Aug. 1, giving Israel its second-ever gold in any Olympic event.

Born in Dnipro, Ukraine, Dolgopyat moved with his family to Israel when he was 12 and began training at Maccabi Tel Aviv, an acclaimed sports club that has produced

multiple Olympians. The Associated Press had predicted that he would win gold at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics (and that six other Israeli athletes or teams would medal during the games).

Until Sunday, the only gold medal ever won by an Israeli was Gal Fridman’s 2004 gold in windsurfing.