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Two Israelis Sail on Yom Kippur, Face Disciplinary Action Back Home

Two Israeli yachtsman escaped being called home from the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, for apparent violation of strict orders not to compete on Yom Kippur.

The contestants, Dan and Ran Torten, who are brothers, sailed their 470-class boat Wednesday, although other members of the Israeli Olympic squad refused to participate in events scheduled on Yom Kippur, even though it meant elimination.

Initial reports said the Tortens would not be allowed to continue in the yachting competition.

However, Israel Radio said Thursday that they would be allowed to finish the games, but would face disciplinary action when they return to Israel.

The brothers admitted they had sailed their boat off the coast at Pusan Wednesday, but insisted it was a practice run and they were not competing in the race.

Initial results of the race placed them ninth, but later they were dropped from the contest for not having finished.

Yitzhak Ofek, president of Israel’s Olympic Committee, said the fact they had not finished indicated that from their point of view, they were not in the race.

Four other Israeli competitors, including another yachting team, forfeited their events because of Yom Kippur.

Flyweight boxer Yehuda Ben-Haim lost his bout with a Moroccan opponent by default because he failed to show up.

Gymnast Revital Sharon missed a scheduled morning appearance, but was allowed to compete in the evening.

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