In first, Hatikva anthem plays in Abu Dhabi as Israeli judoka wins gold
Sagi Muki won a gold medal on Sunday at the International Judo Federation’s Grand Slam competition in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. For the first time in history, as a result, the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikva” was played during the medal awarding ceremony in Abu Dhabi.
Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev, who accompanied the team during the competition, wept while she sang the anthem on stage.
Three other Israelis won bronze medals yesterday: Gili Cohen, Baruch Shamilov and Timna Nelson Levy.
In previous years, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam prevented the Israeli team from competing with state symbols. When the Israeli Judoka Tal Flicker won gold in the 2017 Grand Slam, the Israeli anthem was not played, but rather the World Judo Federation anthem.
This year an agreement was reached and the Israeli team did compete with its national symbols and had ISR printed on the shirts of its members. However, the competition organizers avoided raising the flags of the participating countries, nor they were raised during the medal awarding ceremony.