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A Moroccan team arrived in Israel to participate in a competition for aRussian martial art, which is similar to Judo.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

A Moroccan team landed in Israel on Friday ahead of its participation in the World Beach Sambo Championship, a competition for the Russian martial art, which is similar to Judo

The championships opened on Saturday at the Riviera Beach in the coastal town of Bat Yam. About 115 athletes from 25 countries are participating.

Romania’s national team landed in Israel, as well as a Russian team that is competing under the flag of the Fédération Internationale de Sambo (FIAS), the International Federation of Amateur Sambo.

Ukraine, which was supposed to participate in the competition, did not arrive. When the athletes arrived at the airport in Ukraine on their way to Israel, they received a message that they were staying in Ukraine because they were going to be drafted into the army.

Israel’s Tali Samuelson, 19, was crowned deputy champion of the 72 kg beach sambo world champion for 2022. Samuelson was defeated in the final fight by Romania’s Lela Malika, the runner-up of the 2021 beach sambo world champion and the 2020 freestyle Sambo world champion. On her way to the final, the Israeli defeated an opponent from Morocco in her first match and another from Serbia in her second match.

After winning the silver medal, Samuelson said that “it’s a great honor for me to represent Israel here in my country, in front of all this huge audience and I’m proud of it. I’m a little disappointed because in all my mental preparation I saw myself standing on stand number 1 in front of the thousands who came here to cheer us on and sing the HaTikvah anthem. Right now, I’ll take that dream to my next competition, in about a month – the European Free Sambo Championships in Serbia.”

Nehora Shabtay, 17, a member of the Israeli national team, won the bronze medal at 50 kg. Shabtay was defeated in the battle to advance to the finals by a player from Russia, who holds the world title. After the medal distribution ceremony, she said she was “very excited and proud, but at the same time I’m not happy with myself because I lost the battle for inactivity because I was less energetic.”