Israel takes gold at fencing cup, Hatikvah not played

by Oren Aharoni, YNET

Israeli fencing champion Dana Sterlinkov won the Cadet World Cup Saturday, but when she ascended the podium in Mödling, Austria Israel's national anthem was not played.

A shocked Sterlinkov began to sing the anthem herself, along with her teammates and her managers, who soon joined in. Members of the Jewish community who arrived to watch the match also sang along.

"This is not the first time the Austrians have done something like this," Chairman of the Fencing Association Yossi Harari told Ynet.

"It happened to Noam Mills, who won a championship in the same place. I was informed of what was happening at the time, and I heard the the team and the Jewish community sing Hatikvah by themselves. From now on all Israeli teams will leave Israel equipped with the national anthem and a flag."

The team's coach, Yaakov Ferdman, said the man responsible for playing the anthems at the competition told him he could not find the recording of Hatikvah. "The organizers were very nice to us, and I got the impression it was a technical malfunction," he said.

Sterlinkov is the new wiz kid of the fencing world. Just 14 years old, she won eighth place in the cadet cup for teens up to 17 years of age in April and last month she finished 15th in the European championship for girls aged up to 20.

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