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Israeli judoka Or Sasson, double Olympic medalist, announces his retirement

Israeli judoka Or Sasson announced Thursday that he is retiring from the sport in which he won two Olympic medals for Israel, among numerous other international successes.

Speaking at a news conference in Tel Aviv, Sasson, 31, said he felt his career had gotten as far as it could go and was retiring “at the same time as my losses and at the same time as my successes.”

Judo is the sport that has made me the man I am. I feel like I have fully realized my career and there is nothing I have done or not done that I regret,” he said.

Sasson won his first Olympic medal in the men’s over 100kg event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and then another in the team event at the Tokyo 2020 Games, which due to the COVID-19 pandemic were held the year after. last.

However, Sasson failed to make it to the podium in the individual contest in Tokyo.

Sasson said that after Tokyo he found he no longer had “the fire and the drive” to compete.

Israeli judoka Or Sasson, double Olympic medalist, announces his retirement
Or Sasson of Israel celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the men’s judo competition over 100 kg at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Aside from his Olympic success, Sasson won the Israeli national championships when he was just 17 years old, and was a silver medalist at the 2015 and 2016 European championships. He has also collected gold, silver and bronze medals at other international meets.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Egyptian judoka Islam El Shahaby refused to shake Sasson’s hand after being defeated by the Israeli, only reluctantly taking the required match-ending bow after being called back to the canvas. by the referee. He was subsequently kicked out of the tournament for refusing to follow protocol.

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