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Israel, judo federation hail letter from Iran; Tehran silent

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A letter from Iran over judo rules is being heralded by Israel and the International Judo Federation as a sign the Islamic Republic will allow its athletes to compete against Israelis.

However, Iranian media outlets on Sunday called the response “baseless” and “strange.” Iran’s local judo federation did not immediate answer calls for comment.

Iranian judoka, like other athletes, routinely forfeit matches with Israelis as Iran does not recognize Israel as a country.

The International Judo Federation posted the letter from Iran on Saturday night, which said Iran would “fully respect the Olympic Charter and its nondiscrimination principle,” without elaborating.

Moshe Ponte, the head of the Israeli Judo Association, told The Associated Press he welcomed “this courageous and correct decision” by the International Judo Federation to publish the letter.

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Runner miscounts laps, celebrates, passed for medal at European Champs

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Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter appeared to miscount the number of laps in the European Track and Field Championships 5000m final, thinking she had won a silver medal.

Salpeter crossed the finish line at 4600 meters, just behind Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, and slowed down, putting her hands to her face as the bell rung indicating one lap to go.

After a few seconds, she turned to see the race was still going on, veered back to the inside of the track and accelerated.

Salpeter was passed by Brit Eilish McClogan and Turkey’s Yasemin Can ending up in fourth place, albeit a national record in 15:01. That national record was erased later when Salpeter was disqualified for a lane infringement at the start of the race.

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Skater dislocates shoulder in Skate America fall (video)

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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Israel’s Daniel Samohin was taken to a local hospital after dislocating his left shoulder in a fall during his free skate at Skate America on Saturday.

Samohin, the 2016 World junior champion, fell on his first two jump attempts, appearing to suffer the injury on the latter, a quadruple Salchow.

He lay on the ice trying to extend his arm for about 10 seconds before calling for help. Samohin skated off the ice by himself, holding the shoulder, and walked out of the competition area.

Samohin, 19, was in fifth place after the short program. He was 12th at his Grand Prix season debut in Russia in September.

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