Israel's most decorated athlete, judoka Arik Ze'evi, ended his Olympic career on a particularly sad note on Thursday, just 43 seconds into his first match at the London Games. Ze'evi, 35, the 2012 European champion, was disqualified after losing to Germany's Dimitri Peters in the 100kg match.
Peters, a European bronze medalist, put Ze'evi in a headlock which left the Israeli no other choice but to yield just 43 seconds into the match.
Having hoped to take home one last Olympic medal, the Israeli judoka cried bitterly as he left the judo arena.
He later told reporters "the bottom line is that I failed in a big way." Ze'evi noted that out of all the scenarios he ran through his head prior to the Olympics he never once imagined he would be eliminated after less than a minute. "I can't explain how this happened," he said.
Ze'evi headlocked in London (Photo: Oren Aharoni)
"The combination of my great confidence and his skill led to a situation from which there was no going back."
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Widely recognized as Israel's most prominent judoka, Ze'evi, a dan 5 black belt in Judo, has had a long and successful career competing in half-heavyweight Judo competitions.
Trying to contain the tears (Photo: Oren Aharoni)
He was an Olympic bronze medal finalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics Judo 100 kg class in Athens.
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.