Egyptian judoka jeered in Rio after Israeli handshake snub

Rio De Janeiro—Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was jeered out of the Olympic arena in Rio on Friday after refusing to shake hands with his Israeli opponent.
El Shehaby was beaten by Or Sasson in their heavyweight first round encounter but at the end of the bout, he refused to either bow to the Israeli or shake his hand.
In judo it is customary to both bow to opponents — a sign of respect in Japan — and shake hands after a bout is over.
El Shehaby had been well beaten but stood impassively as Sasson tried to shake his hand.
As he left the mat area, El Shehaby was called back to the centre by the referee to bow.
But he was then loudly jeered out of the arena by angry supporters.
The 32-year-old, a world championship medallist in 2010, had faced pressure on social media and from hardline Islamist groups in his homeland to withdraw from the fight.
Unlike some other Muslim and Arab nations, Egypt has no history of withdrawing from judo bouts against Israelis.
The Egyptian Olympic Committee had insisted before the fight that El Shehaby would compete.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabian Joud Fahmy withdrew from her 52kg first round bout against Christianne Legentil of Mauritius ahead of a possible second round clash with Gili Cohen of Israel.
The Saudi Olympic Committee claimed she was injured.
Most famously in the Olympic dojo, then-world champion Arash Miresmaeili pulled out of the competition after failing to make the 66kg weight limit after being drawn against Israeli Ehud Vaks in the first round.
The Iranian delegation claimed he was ill and could not make the weight, although an inside source said he had failed the weight by more than 5kg — an incredible amount.
Back home in Iran he was feted for his personal “sacrifice” and award the same prize as gold medallists.
Iran openly refuses to allow its citizens any contact with Israelis.—AFP

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