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Iranian judoka says he'll never forget the kindness of the Israeli team

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 26.7%. 1 min read.

Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei, who refused to return home after being ordered to withdraw from the 2019 World Judo Championships to avoid facing an Israeli opponent, says he will never forget the kindness he's been shown by the Israeli judo team as he prepares to compete in a major tournament in Tel Aviv.

(CNN)Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei, who refused to return home after being ordered to withdraw from the 2019 World Judo Championships to avoid facing an Israeli opponent, says he will never forget the kindness he's been shown by the Israeli judo team as he prepares to compete in a major tournament in Tel Aviv.

Now competing under the Mongolian flag at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam, Mollaei may face the man he says he was ordered to avoid, Israeli judoka Sagi Muki, who tweeted a picture of the two men embracing after Mollaei arrived in Israel on Sunday along with a caption that read: "Welcome brother. "

Israel welcomed Mollaei on its official Twitter account on Thursday, writing: "We'd like to give a warm welcome to Iranian Judoka Saeid Mollaei who arrived in Israel to train with the Israeli team ahead of the Tel Aviv Grand Slam Competition!"

However, the president of Iran's Judo Federation Arash Miresmaeili says Mollaei's presence in the competition has shamed Iranians on the world stage.

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