Yarden Gerbi wins Israel’s first Rio medal in judo

Yarden Gerbi

(JTA) — Yarden Gerbi became the first Israeli to medal at the Rio Olympics, bringing home a bronze in the women’s 63-kg judo competition.

Gerbi defeated Japan’s Miku Tashiro on Tuesday for Israel’s first Olympic medal since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“The medal is for all of Israel, for everyone who supported me and cheered me on,” Gerbi said after her victory, according to Haaretz. “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.”

Israel narrowly missed another medal in judo on Monday when Sagi Muki lost to Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia in the bronze medal match.

Gerbi’s triumph is Israel’s first medal in Olympic competition since the 2008 games, when Shahar Tzuberi won the bronze in sailing.