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Judo-European under-100 kg champion Ariel Zeevi retires from mat

JERUSALEM, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Veteran judoka Ariel Zeevi, the current European men's under-100 kgs judo champion and one of Israel's best-loved athletes, announced his retirement on Monday.


Zeevi, 35, took part in four Olympics but won only a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Games. His first-round defeat in london this year to German Dimitri Peters was his last bout.

"The last few months have not been easy, I felt things I hadn't felt previously. It started with the defeat in London... and suddenly I realised that I had no more aims, I had fought my last bout and it made recovery from the loss so much more painful," Zeevi told reporters.

Zeevi won nine European championship medals including four golds, and a world championship silver in the open category.

Known by his nickname Arik, he became the oldest European champion in his weight division when he won the title for the fourth time in April. (Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by John Mehaffey)


SOURCE: Yahoo Sports


Ariel Ze'evi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ariel Ze'evi

Ariel Ze'evi in 2012
Medal record
Competitor for  Israel
Men's Judo
Olympic Games
Bronze 2004 Athens 100 kg
World Championships
Silver 2001 Munich Open kg
European Championships
Gold 2001 Paris 100 kg
Gold 2003 Düsseldorf 100 kg
Gold 2004 Bucharest 100 kg
Gold 2012 Chelyabinsk 100 kg
Silver 2005 Rotterdam 100 kg
Bronze 1999 Bratislava 100 kg
Bronze 2007 Belgrade 100 kg
Bronze 2008 Lisbon 100 kg
Bronze 2010 Vienna 100 kg

Ariel "Arik" Ze'evi (Hebrewאריאל "אריק" זאבי‎, born 16 January 1977 in Bnei Brak) is an Israeli judoka, widely recognized as the country's most prominent judoka during the 1990s and until this day.

Ze'evi, a dan 5 black belt in Judo, has had a long and successful career competing in half-heavyweight Judo competitions. He is an Olympic bronze medal finalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics Judo 100 kg class in Athens. His current coach is Alex Ahskenazy.

In 2005, he was voted the 50th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.[1]




Ze'evi is Jewish,[2] and was born and raised in Bnei Brak, a predominantly orthodox Jewish city in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

While growing up, he trained in the local Judo club in his neighborhood, together with his older brother, Roni, who was also the club's first local gold medal pioneer after having finished first in the national Israeli Judo Championships. Ze'evi, heavily influenced by his brother and his accomplishment, began training intensively, and at the age of 14 won his first national competition in the adult class, becoming the country's youngest champion ever. Despite the lack of advanced training facilities, Ze'evi continued training in his local club and steadily closed the gap to world class level, and began competing abroad.

In his personal life, Ze'evi obtained a LLB degree from the Interdisciplinary Center college, in Herzliya.

He also hosted a sports television show for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority.

Judo career

Ze'evi placed 5th competing for Israel at the 2000 Summer Olympics in the men's 100 kg division, before winning the bronze medal representing Israel at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in the men's 100 kg division.[3]

He is the 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2012 European champion and the 2005 silver medalist. Ze'evi also won the silver medal in the open category in the 2001 World Championships.

He missed the 2005 World championships in Cairo due to a shoulder injury, and subsequently underwent surgery to repair the damage.[4]

Representing Israel at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he failed to win a medal after losing his second match in the repechage bracket. Ze'evi told the Israeli media he does not want to end his career without a victory (probably hinting at the Judo World Championships in 2009).

According to the International Judo Federation's World Ranking List, as of April 2012, Zeevi was ranked # 8.

Became the champion of Europe for the fourth time in 2012, winning the competition in Chelyabinsk, Russia.


Year Tournament Result
1999 World ChampionshipBirmingham (England) 5th
1999 European ChampionshipBratislava (Slovakia) 3rd
2000 Sydney 2000 Olympics 5th
2001 European ChampionshipParis (France) 1st
2001 World Championship Open Weight, Munich (Germany) 2nd
2002 European ChampionshipMaribor (Slovenia) 5th
2003 European ChampionshipDüsseldorf (Germany) 1st
2004 Olympic Qualification Championship, Paris (France) 1st
2004 European ChampionshipBucharest (Romania) 1st
2004 Athens 2004 Olympics 3rd
2005 World Cup, Tallinn (Estonia) 3rd
2005 European ChampionshipRotterdam (Netherlands) 2nd
2007 European ChampionshipBelgrade (Serbia) 3rd
2008 World Cup Tour, Prague (Czech Republic) 1st
2008 European ChampionshipLisbon (Portugal) 3rd
2009 European ChampionshipTbilisi (Georgia) 5th
2010 European ChampionshipVienna (Austria) 3rd
2010 Grand Slam, Tokyo (Japan) 2nd
2011 European ChampionshipIstanbul (Turkey) 7th
2011 Grand Slam, Moscow (Russia) 1st
2012 European Judo Championships, Chelyabinsk (Russia) 1st

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Ze'evi

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