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Israel’s first World Champion Yarden Gerbi continues to inspire
22 Nov 2017 10:30
Israel’s first world judo champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Yarden Gerbi of Israel was in The Hague to deliver a masterclass on Saturday and Sunday. The 28-year-old retired in October but was back on the mat in the Netherlands to teach local children some new skills and to share her remarkable story.
“I have had a very nice experience here giving clinics to children from the age of 6 to 12 and it’s something I love doing,” said the 2013 world champion and 2014 world silver medallist.
“I have done this type of activity in other countries and at home, I like to be with children and to pass on my knowledge. I think it’s an amazing idea from the Dutch Judo Federation to develop judo with children while they were here to watch judo.
“One girl gave me a strong randori and threw me with osoto-gari and then held me down and it was such a happy moment for her, the parents and all the families watching loved it. I want to help future champions and this is something close to my heart.”
Gerbi also revealed the reasoning for her retirement and said she is happy with her career and has a host of offers on the table.
The Netherlands' next generation were able to watch the world's best judoka and train themselves at #JudoTheHague2017
“When I returned to regular training everyday, twice a day, I thought why am I doing it. The moment I started back I thought it is not enough for me to keep going, I am so grateful for my world and Olympic medals and everything I have achieved.
“I feel like I want more relaxation and more family time and I am satisfied by decision. I don’t know what’s next but I have a lot of offers, from Israel and abroad and ranging from sport to politics and business.”
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Marit De Gier (NED)