Israeli judoka Arik Zeevi retires


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli judoka Arik Zeevi, who won a bronze medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004, has retired.

Zeevi, 35, announced his retirement at a news conference Monday, but rumors of his imminent retirement had been circulating ever since his upset loss in the first round of the judo competition at the London Olympics this year.

 “The past couple of months were extremely difficult for me,” Zeevi said at the news conference. “In the past, whenever I failed I always set myself new goals, but this time I realized that I have no more goals. That was very hard to accept."

The third Israeli to participate in four Olympics, Zeevi had said prior to the London Games that he would likely retire once they were over.

Zeevi won four gold medals at the European Championships, one silver medal and four bronze medals. He also won a silver medal at the World Championships in 2001.

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