'Better than gold': Jordanian taekwondo teen star 'boycotts' bronze medal match against Israeli opponent
A Jordanian taekwondo athlete has refused to face an Israeli opponent, local media reported, part of a growing anti-normalisation boycott by Arab sports stars.
Miassar al-Dahamsha, 13, was part of Jordan's junior team and withdrew from a bronze medal bout in the Taekwondo World Championship in Bulgaria on Sunday where she was due to face an Israeli athlete, Roya News reported.
Al-Dahamsha's withdrawal ended her chance of picking up a medal in the World Championships but her stance won her praise in Jordan, Palestine and beyond, including one who said it was more "precious than gold".
"Our junior athlete Miassar Al-Dahamsha withdrew from the third place match and the bronze medal competition in the world taekwondo championships after she was found herself facing a player from the occupation entity," they added.
أغلى من الذهب— Alaa Malkawi (@AlaaMal28542148) July 31, 2022
َانسحاب لاعبتنا الناشئة #ميسر_الدهامشة من مباراة تحديد المركز الثالث والمنافسة على ميدالية برونزية في بطولة العالم للتايكوندوا بعد وقوعها بمواجهة لاعبة الكيـ ـان المحـ ـتل
بينما برامكه بهرولوا من أجل التطبيع pic.twitter.com/eBCR0teMRD
While Jordan has diplomatic relations with Israel, many of its athletes have boycotted matches against Israeli opponents.
Jordanian fencer Eyas Al-Zumar also withdrew from a world championship match against an Israeli opponent two months ago.
Other Arab athletes have also boycotted matches against Israelis.
Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine was banned from the sport for ten-years after withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics after he was due to face an Israeli athlete.