Jewish Argentinean judoka, two Israelis take Paralympic medals in London


(JTA) – Argentinean Paralympic judoka Jose David Effron won a silver medal in London at the Paralympic Games, and Israeli swimmers took three bronze medals.

Effron, 22, was defeated in the final of the 81 kg category in sudden death overtime after a draw during his match with Ukrainian Olexandr Kosinov.

Effron, who lives in Chamical, a small village in the northern province of La Rioja, became a bar mitzvah last year during a trip to Israel with the Birthright Israel program. He did not have a Jewish education.

“There are just two Jewish families in Chamical, and there aren’t Jewish institutions, Effron’s sister, Laura, told JTA from London. "But we are very proud as Jews."

Meanwhile, Israeli swimmer Inbal Pezaro won her second bronze medal at the London Paralympics on Saturday in the 200-meter freestyle. She won her first on Aug. 30 in the 50-meter freestyle.

Also Saturday, Israeli swimmer Izhak Mamistvalov took the bronze medal in the men’s 200-meter freestyle, beating Israeli swimmer Iad Shalabi by one hundredth of a second.

Pezaro won a bronze and a silver medal in Athens in 2004, and three silver medals in Beijing in 2008. Mamistvalov, who has cerebral palsy, won three medals in Athens in 2004 and missed the Beijing Games after an accident.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the athletes in remarks at the beginning of Sunday’s regular Cabinet meeting.

"These are bronze medals; for us they are all gold and we are very, very proud of our athletes and we salute them," he said.

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