Israelian athletes may set a new record in Tel Aviv winning Grand Slams for the whole year 2021. In history Israelian judoka were able to take a maximum of two Grand Slam titles in 2019 and two in 2018 and 2013.
Israelian judo is moving forward and organising the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv is another top event in Israel where judo became so popular due to the two Olympic medals in 2016 in Rio and world titles celebrated since 2013 when Yarden Gerbi won gold in Rio and Sagi Muki in 2019 in Tokyo.
Ariel Zeevi was the first Israelian athlete who took the victory at a Grand Slam in 2011 in Moscow. Alice Schlesinger and Yarden Gerbi won three titles U63kg and Gili Cohen was able to add two Grand Slam titles in 2016 and 2019. Then the men came back strong with Tal Flicker, Sagi Muki who captured three titles and Peter Paltchik who won in 2018 and 2020. This home event may pull the trigger for perhaps another three gold medals. Candidates will be Baruch Shmailov fighting U66kg, Sagi Muki U81kg, Peter Paltchik U100. Gili Cohen may be able to win a medal U52kg as well as Timna Nelson Levy U57kg who captured a bronze medal at the IJF Masters in Doha last month.
Peter Paltchik: "Since Tuesday I have entered the COVID capsule in the hotel, where we train, eat and sleep without being able to go outside or come into contact with people outside the capsule until the competition ends on Saturday. I'm excited and proud to represent Israel here, in my home, the place where I was raised, but we continue to make history of developing judo in Israel."
Israel won 13 Grand Slam gold medals in history, 31 Grand Prix titles including six on home soil.