Ron Atias made history over the weekend when he secured a berth to the Rio Olympics and won the European Continental Qualification Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey. Atias (A-58kg) will be the first Israeli male taekwondo athlete to ever represent the country in the Olympic Games.
A total of 128 taekwondo athletes will compete in the world’s top sporting competition, set for August this year.
Atias, who will be 21 in April, is the 18th Israeli athlete to win a berth at the Olympics 2016.
Atias trains in his hometown of Ramle.
“A huge honor for the entire State of Israel, the city of Ramle and its residents,” Ramle Mayor Yoel Lavi said of Atias’s achievement. “I believe we’ll hear a lot more about other taekwondo athletes from Ramle, who will no doubt succeed on the international level as well.”
Israel has sent two women taekwondo athletes to the Olympics in the past: Bat-El Gatterer and Maya Arusi.