Egyptian judoka explains why he didn't shake Sasson's hand

Sasson will though still fight for bronze, when he takes on Cuban Alex Garcia Mendoza.

Earlier this week, Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi defeated Japan's Miku Tashiro to win the bronze medal in the women's 63 kilogram weight class, Israel's first medal at the Rio Olympics.

El Shehaby, 32, had been reportedly pressured by fans on social media not to show up for his scheduled fight with Sasson, but he decided not to withdraw from the match.

Sasson advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champion Teddy Riner of France.

Egypt's Islam El Shehaby, blue, declines to shake hands with Israel's Or Sasson, white, after losing during the men's over 100-kg judo competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016.

"I knew he would do it, so it wasn't a surprise for me", he said.

"For me, it doesn't matter because I'm a professional fighter", he said. In Judo, the players can either shake hands or bow in respect to each other. Even then, all El Shehaby would offer his Israeli opponent was a brief nod. El Shehaby claimed that many sources put pressure on him to forfeit the fight and that he chose to compete anyways because he doesn't mix sport and politics. He said there was no obligation to shake hands, but to bow is mandatory.

Ori Sasoon suffered a heart-breaking and dramatic defeat, when he was beaten in the last second of his 100kg semi-final on Friday evening.

According to The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv, el-Shehaby was known in Egypt as the most fervently anti-Israel sportsmen competing at the 2016 Olympic games.

While some pundits say boycotting fellow athletes due to their nationality goes against the spirit of the Olympic games, many supporters of the Palestinian cause find the conduct an act of defiance against Israel.

He said: "The Israeli Olympic team is a delegation of great athletes".

The Olympic spirit is meant to transcend even the sharpest political differences, but an Egyptian judoka was jeered yesterday after refusing to shake the hand of his Israeli victor.

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