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#Rio2016: Temper tantrums and bronze medals for Arab judokas Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

#Rio2016: Temper tantrums and bronze medals for Arab judokas

Many athletes from Arab countries are competing at Rio 2016 [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 August, 2016

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Arab judokas have been the centre of attention at Rio after Lebanon's Nacif Elias threw a temper tantrum while the UAE's Sergiu Toma took home a bronze medal.

This week witnessed a lot of drama for Arab judokas on the Olympic mats after Lebanon's Nacif Elias threw a temper tantrum at a disqualification decision while the UAE's Sergiu Toma took home a bronze medal for his adopted country.

Nacif Elias, who was competing in the men's 81kg category, reacted furiously when he was disqualified for an illegal arm lock during a bout against Argentina's Emmanuel Lucenti on Tuesday.

Brazil-raised Elias was not pleased with the referee’s decision and refused to bow to his opponent.

As he left the mats, he ripped off his black belt and screamed at the TV cameras: "This no Judo, this no Judo!"

The grappler's coach could not hold back his tears as he saw their medal hopes go down the drain, however, Elias later returned to apologise to the spectators for his unsportsmanlike conduct.

"I've trained hard and long for this. What happened was Argentinean trickery," Elias told Brazilian media after he was disqualified.

Translation: "A bronze medal for Emirati judoka Sergiu Toma. The 'Toma' clan are one of the biggest and most well-known of the Arab tribes in the Emirates."

The complex rules of Olympic Judo do not allow attempts at forward throws while locking and opponent's arm as they are likely to cause injury.

The Brazilian-Lebanese dual citizen decided to drape himself in the iconic Lebanese cedar tree because of his love for his parents' country of birth – and because of greater chances to qualify for international tournaments.

"All of Lebanon is talking about Nacif Elias. And although he doesn't understand Arabic, he understands the power of his roots," Lebanese media wrote about Elias in a preview for the games.

Speaking of non-Arabic speaking Arab judo competitors, Moldovan-born Sergiu Toma bagged the UAE its second ever Olympic medal and its first in judo.

Toma beat Italian Matteo Marconcini on Tuesday with a stunning ippon and upon reviving his medal he could not hold back his emotions.

Emiratis have erupted in celebration on social media for the oil-rich Gulf state's historic achievement.

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