Tokyo Olympics: Iranian defector wins silver medal in judo and dedicates it to Israel

Iranian defector Saeid Mollaei dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel and thanked the country for the support they have given him after a nail-biting final.

Mollaei, 29, won the silver medal representing Mongolia in the men’s 81kg judo final on Tuesday, but lost out on claiming gold to Japan‘s Takanori Nagase.

The judo world champion, who trained in Israel with their national judo team in the months before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, thanked the country in Hebrew as he dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel.

He told the Israeli Sports Channel: ‘Thank you to Israel for the good energy. This medal is dedicated also to Israel.’

Iranian defector Saeid Mollaei (pictured) dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel and thanked the country for the support they have given him after a nail-biting final

Iranian defector Saeid Mollaei (pictured) dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel and thanked the country for the support they have given him after a nail-biting final

Iranian defector Saeid Mollaei (pictured) dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel and thanked the country for the support they have given him after a nail-biting final

Mollaei (in blue), 29, won the silver medal representing Mongolia in the men's 81kg judo final on Tuesday, but lost out on claiming gold to Japan's Takanori Nagase (in white)

Mollaei (in blue), 29, won the silver medal representing Mongolia in the men's 81kg judo final on Tuesday, but lost out on claiming gold to Japan's Takanori Nagase (in white)

Mollaei (in blue), 29, won the silver medal representing Mongolia in the men’s 81kg judo final on Tuesday, but lost out on claiming gold to Japan’s Takanori Nagase (in white)

Mollaei defected to Germany after he disobeyed a direct order from Iran’s minister to withdraw from the 2019 Judo World Championships in Japan to avoid fighting Israel’s Sagi Muki.

The judoka obtained Mongolian citizenship shortly afterwards and has previously said that he fears for his life if he returns home.

Muki congratulated his ‘close friend’ Mollaei on his Olympic medal, despite his own disappointing loss to Austria’s Shamil Borchashvili, which saw him knocked out in the round of 16.

He said: ‘I know what he’s gone through, and how much he wanted it. He’s a very close friend of mine, and I’m so happy that he succeeded in achieving his dream. 

‘He deserves it – his journey is incredibly inspiring.’

Mollaei lost out on the Olympic gold medal to Takanori Nagase in a gruelling final that lasted more than five-and-a-half minutes. 

The contest came to a dramatic close when Nagase, 27, delivered an ashi-guruma foot wheel to throw Mollaei down on the tatami mats to earn a waza-ari sudden death overtime victory

The contest came to a dramatic close when Nagase, 27, delivered an ashi-guruma foot wheel to throw Mollaei down on the tatami mats to earn a waza-ari sudden death overtime victory

The contest came to a dramatic close when Nagase, 27, delivered an ashi-guruma foot wheel to throw Mollaei down on the tatami mats to earn a waza-ari sudden death overtime victory

The judo world champion, who trained in Israel before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, thanked the country in Hebrew as he dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel

The judo world champion, who trained in Israel before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, thanked the country in Hebrew as he dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel

The judo world champion, who trained in Israel before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, thanked the country in Hebrew as he dedicated his first ever Olympic medal to Israel

Pictured from left: Silver medalist Saeid Mollaei of Mongolia, gold medalist Takanori Nagase of Japan, bronze medalists Shamil Borchashvili of Austria and Matthias Casse of Belgium

Pictured from left: Silver medalist Saeid Mollaei of Mongolia, gold medalist Takanori Nagase of Japan, bronze medalists Shamil Borchashvili of Austria and Matthias Casse of Belgium

Pictured from left: Silver medalist Saeid Mollaei of Mongolia, gold medalist Takanori Nagase of Japan, bronze medalists Shamil Borchashvili of Austria and Matthias Casse of Belgium

The contest came to a dramatic close when Nagase, 27, delivered an ashi-guruma foot wheel to throw Mollaei down on the tatami mats to earn a waza-ari sudden death overtime victory. 

Rio bronze medallist Nagase’s victory marked a fifth judo gold medal for hosts Japan at the Games, edging them closer to their previous Olympic record of eight titles in 2004 in Athens.

Mollaei represented Mongolia in an international contest in Tel Aviv earlier this year, against the wishes of Tehran.

The former gold medallist competed in a two-day International Judi Federation (IJF) Grand Slam in Tel Aviv, but Iran reacted with disdain at the news.

President of the Iranian Judo Federation Arash Miresmaeili expressed regret that ‘a foolish athlete’ and ‘hollow champion who only thinks of his personal interests has gone to Tel Aviv and is proud of it’.

‘This is not an honour but a stain of shame on your forehead that will stay with you forever, because you have turned your back on the ideals of the system, on your homeland, and are proud of it,’ Miresmaeili said in a statement at the time, addressing Mollaei. 

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has prohibited any sporting events with its mortal enemy, Israel.

Mollaei defected to Germany after he disobeyed a direct order from Iran's minister to withdraw from the 2019 Judo World Championships in Japan to avoid fighting Israel's Sagi Muki

Mollaei defected to Germany after he disobeyed a direct order from Iran's minister to withdraw from the 2019 Judo World Championships in Japan to avoid fighting Israel's Sagi Muki

Mollaei defected to Germany after he disobeyed a direct order from Iran’s minister to withdraw from the 2019 Judo World Championships in Japan to avoid fighting Israel’s Sagi Muki

Muki (right) congratulated his 'close friend' Mollaei (left) on his Olympic medal, despite his own disappointing loss to Austria's Shamil Borchashvili

Muki (right) congratulated his 'close friend' Mollaei (left) on his Olympic medal, despite his own disappointing loss to Austria's Shamil Borchashvili

Muki (right) congratulated his ‘close friend’ Mollaei (left) on his Olympic medal, despite his own disappointing loss to Austria’s Shamil Borchashvili

Mollaei defected to Germany after he disobeyed orders to withdraw from the 2019 Judo World Championships to avoid fighting Israel’s Sagi Muki. 

During the world championship in Tokyo, Mollaei fought on despite orders from the Iranian deputy sports minister Mohammad Resa Davarzani.

The Iranian former gold medalist could have fought Israeli contender Saki Mugi in the final, had he not been defeated by Belgium’s Matthias Casse in the semis.

Muki later won the gold and called Mollaei ‘an inspiration’.

Mollaei was granted refugee status by Germany following the Tokyo games and has been allowed to compete under the Mongolian flag the by International Olympic Committee (IOC) since last March

He has admitted that he was ‘afraid of what might happen to my family and to myself’ if he goes back to his home country.

In October 2019, the International Judo Federation said it had banned Iran from international competition over the country’s refusal to allow its fighters to face Israeli opponents. Iran said the ban was based on ‘false claims’. 

Link hienalouca.com

Advertising:

Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast

For most families, it has already been a common practice to spend the Holiday season in a foreign location. This is caused by the aviation market changes which have given a lot of benefits for people who travel a lot. Airfares going to different tourist destinations are becoming more inexpensive. What does this mean? If there is a perfect time to purchase luxury holiday package deals, now it the right time! Based on the market trend nowadays, you can save both money and time when you go for a luxury holiday. There are countless offers that combine travel and accommodation in one package which is a lot cheaper than getting separate deals. Aside from that, it is also risky to individually book the services that you need for the vacation. You might end up missing out on some important details of the trip. Unlike when you take advantage of luxury holiday package deals, you can be sure that everything is organized meticulously and according to what you really need. Nonetheless, you would still need to carefully select the package that would fit your needs. Review the following tips in getting packages that are reasonably priced. · Normally, luxury tour packages include accommodation, flight travel and transportation to individual tourist destinations. It would be best to choose the complete package so you won’t have to worry about other vacation elements. In addition to that, these are the packages that have the biggest discounts. · You can get big mark down prices, if you will purchase more packages. It is not a bad idea to share the wonderful moment with your loved ones. By doing so, you would not only enjoy, you will also save more money. You can even use your savings for other activities on your vacation. · It would be best to know how much you are willing to pay for the luxury tour packages. You can already work around your budget. You have to stick to your budget. If not, you might end up spending a lot and you will be left with less money for your vacation. · Prices may vary depending on the destination of the tour. You can do a research about places that are attractive yet inexpensive. There are thousands of destinations and you just have to choose wisely. · There are packages that include recreational activities. This means that you are paying for all the activities when you purchase these packages. The right thing to do is to make sure that the activities that are included would be the ones that you really enjoy. There is no sense in paying for activities that will not really make your vacation memorable. If you are going with friends, you should also consider their preferences so that you can be sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. There are other ways on how you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your luxury holiday vacation. No matter how you choose to do it, you have to get adequate information about the packages. This will help you determine whether it is worth the price.

(Total views: 49 Time, 1 visits per day)

Leave a Reply