A second judo participant leaves the Olympics instead of facing Israeli fighter Tohar Butbul
- Mohamed Abdalrasool from Sudan withdrew from judo competition competition on Monday
- 28-year-old, ranked 469th, retired instead of taking on Israeli Tohar Butbul, ranked 7th
- Comes after Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine also stopped before facing Butbul in what he later said was a protest against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians
- Abdalrasool did not reveal why he stopped as he showed up for the weigh-in
- Read the latest Olympic news in Tokyo, including schedule, medal table and results here
A second judo fighter has left the Tokyo Olympics instead of facing an Israeli opponent.
Mohamed Abdalrasool, 28, from Sudan, failed to show up on Monday morning for his fight against 27-year-old Tohar Butbul in the 73kg class.
It comes after Algeria’s Fethi Nourine dropped out of the match last week because he may have had to fight Butbul as he protested Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Abdalrasool, who is ranked 469th in the world, has given no reason to withdraw from the fight as he showed up for the weigh-in earlier in the day.
Israeli judoka Tohar Butbul advanced in the men’s 73kg competition at the Tokyo Olympics after two of his opponents withdrew from the competition
Nourine was originally going to face Abdalrasool in the opening round of the men’s 73kg weight, with the winner of that fight taking on Butbul, who skipped the opening round due to his high position – seventh in the world.
But the 30-year-old Algerian and his coach Amar Benikhlef announced on Thursday that they were withdrawing from the game rather than risk meeting an Israeli opponent.
Mohamed Abdalrasool, from Sudan, was scheduled to face Butbul in the round of 32, but failed to show up for the fight – no reason was given
Nourine later told Algerian TV that he didn’t want to ‘get his hands dirty’ and that withdrawing was ‘the right thing to do’.
“We have worked hard to qualify for the Games, but the Palestinian cause is bigger than that,” he said.
“My stance is consistent on the Palestinian issue, and I reject normalization, and if it costs me that absence from the Olympics, God will make up for it.”
It is not the first time Nourine has left a match to avoid Butbul, having left the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo for the same reason.
The International Judo Federation subsequently suspended Nourine and Benikhlef, while the Algerian Olympic Committee withdrew their accreditation and sent them home from Tokyo – with further sanctions pending their return.
Sudanese Olympic officials and the IJF have not yet commented on the reasons behind Abdalrasool’s withdrawal.
Butbul then went on to the round of 16 without a fight, before being defeated by Arthur Margelidon of Canada.
Margelidon then advanced to one of two bronze medal fights, before being defeated by Mongolia’s Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir to finish just short of the podium.
Algeria’s Fethi Nourine withdrew from the judo competition last week after it emerged he might face Butbul, saying it was a protest against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Butbul advanced to the round of 16 without a fight, before being defeated by Canadian Arthur Margelidon (picture winning the fight)