11 Israelis take part in UAE judo competition
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Israel’s sports minister attended an international judo competition that began Saturday in the United Arab Emirates as three Israeli players received medals and had their country’s flag displayed on a screen.
It’s a significant change from last year, when UAE organizers had singled Israel out with a ban on displaying its flag or playing its anthem during the tournament when one of its athletes was awarded a medal.
The UAE does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
The International Judo Federation had temporarily suspended the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam from its schedule, but it was reinstated in September after the tournament’s UAE organizers promised equal treatment to Israeli athletes.
Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev was on hand to attend part of the first day of the tournament in Abu Dhabi, which saw three Israeli athletes win bronze.
Athletes from 62 countries are participating in the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, which runs until Tuesday, with Israel represented by six male and five female competitors.