Gerbi secures bronze for Israel at Rio 2016


Yarden Gerbi struggled to fight back the tears after winning the bronze medal in the Women's under-63kg competition at Rio 2016.

Ahead of the Games, the former world champion was tipped for a podium finish by Gili Lustig, secretary-general of the Olympic Committee of Israel. And she did not disappoint, winning Israel's first medal in the competition since 2008.

The judoka beat Miku Tashiro of Japan before running into the crowd where she was hugged by supporters drapped in Israeli flags. This followed a win over Yang Juniz of China.

Gerbi said: "I always believed in myself. The ability to make so many people happy is a great privilege. Dreams do come true.

"The medal is for all of Israel, for everyone who supported me and cheered me on.

"I'm waiting for someone to wake me up. I gave my soul and it paid off. Whoever said you can't succeed in Israel, is wrong."

Gerbi is the second Jewish medallist in Brazil following in the footsteps of American swimmer Anthony Ervin who won gold in the 4x100m Medley Relay.

Gerbi's bronze was Israel's eigth in Olympic history, four of which have come in judo.

Former team-mate Alice Schlesinger, now competing for Team GB, suffered a disappointing defeat in the second round of the same competition.

Dudi Sela's run in the Men's Singles tennis competition ended in the second round as he went down 6-3, 6-3 to David Goffin of Belgium.

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