World Games: Five-medal day for Israel’s Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

Israel’s Nimrod Ryeder starts his journey toward gold, defeating Poland’s Robert Henek in jiu-jitsu on July 15.

by Larry Brook

(Israel InSight) — After competitions on July 14, Israel had five total medals at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham — four gold and one silver. By the end of the next day, that would be more than doubled, as Israel’s Jiu-Jitsu team made its presence felt at Birmingham-Southern College’s Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Jiu-Jitsu athletes won two gold medals, one silver and two bronze, while Israel also won a bronze in acrobatic gymnastics.

In men’s 77kg Ne-Waza, Nimrod Ryeder won the gold medal over Ali Munfaredi of Bahrain, 3-0. Further making it an Abraham Accords match, the mat referee was Obaid Kamis Ali Saeed Alkaabi of United Arab Emirates. In the semifinal, Ryeder beat Michael Sheehan of Canada, 14-0.

In pool play, Ryeder defeated Robert Henek of Poland, 5-0, and lost to Kim Edmund of the United States, 14-0, who then lost the bronze medal match to Sheehan.

Meshy Rosenfeld won gold in the women’s 57kg division, defeating Galina Duvanova of Kazakhstan, in a referee decision following a 0-0 score. She had defeated Duvanova in the pool round, 18-0.

Rosenfeld also defeated Margarita Rosa Campos Obando of Colombia, 14-0, then defeated France’s Laurence Fouillat in the semifinals, 10-0.

In the final match of the day, Rony Nisimian took silver in women’s 63kg Ne-Waza, losing the gold medal bout to Slovenia’s Maja Povsanar, 14-0. Nisimian had won the semifinal against Bogdana Golub of Ukraine on a referee decision following a 0-0 score.

In the preliminary rounds, Nisimian defeated Orapa Senatham of Thailand, 14-0, and eventual bronze winner Shamma Alkalbani of the United Arab Emirates, on advantages following a 0-0 score.

In the men’s 69kg Ne-Waza competition, Viki Dabush won the bronze medal, defeating Valentin Blumental of France, 4-0. He had been defeated by eventual gold medalist Florian Bayili of Belgium, 14-0, in the semifinals.

In pool competition, Dabush defeated Carlos Velasquez of the United States, 14-0, and then fell to Mohamed Alsuwaidi of the United Arab Emirates, 2-2, with the win going to Alsuwaidi on advantages. Alsuwaidi won the silver.

Saar Shemesh received the bronze medal in men’s 85kg Ne-Waza by “walkover,” as there was no opponent for the bronze medal match. The semifinal match between Maciej Kozak of Poland and Bader al-Kuzai of Jordan did not take place, as Kozak did not show and al-Kuzai “refused to compete,” according to the announcers.

The Jordanian delegation reportedly was protesting a referee decision in the earlier match between al-Kuzai and Faisal Alketbi of the United Arab Emirates, which was scored 0-0 but went to Alketbi by advantages.

Shemesh defeated Elioenai de Abreu Campos of the United States, 4-0, in the quarterfinals; lost on points to Abdurahmanhaji Murtazaliev of Kyrgyzstan, 4-2, in the semifinals, and defeated Kevin Cuervo Vieira of Colombia, 14-0.

Alketbi won gold and silver at the 2017 World Games and is the most decorated jiu-jitsu fighter in World Games history.

Most of the Israelis will compete in the Open matches on July 16, and in the team competition during the afternoon.

In Muay Thai, Itai Gershon fell to Thailand’s Thanet Nitutorn, 30-27, in the quarterfinals of the men’s 71kg competition.

In the women’s 60kg competition, Nili Block defeated Ewin Ates of Sweden, 30-27. She will face Niamh Charlotte Kinehan of Great Britain on July 16.

Israel’s women’s lacrosse team celebrates its 13-12 victory in the fifth place game on July 15, giving them their highest-ever world ranking.

The women’s lacrosse team had a back and forth battle with Japan, closing a late gap to take the fifth place game, 13-12. This is the highest-ever world ranking for Israel women’s lacrosse.

In Acrobatic Gymnastics, Adi Horwitz and Meron Weissman took bronze in the Mixed Pairs competition. They were seeded second in the finals, after placing second in dynamic exercise and third in balance exercise in the qualification round. The top four teams qualified for the finals, and Belgium won gold.

In sport climbing, Nimrod Marcus placed sixth in the men’s boulder final. He had placed third in the qualification round, where six of 11 athletes advanced.

Ayala Kerem placed sixth in the women’s boulder final. She had placed fourth in qualifying to advance to the top six out of 12.