Champion fencer Sara Besbes stands down rather than plays Israeli
Sara Besbes, a Tunisian champion fencer, boycotted a competition in Italy rather than fence Israeli Noam Mills.
Besbes, who comes from a family of great fame in fencing, reached the final round where she had to play against an Israeli player. However, she stood still on the platform, pointing her sword toward the ground and refusing to move as a sign she was boycotting the Israeli athlete but without officially announcing it to avoid punitive measures by the judges.
Tunis Radio reports Noam Mills “collapsed in tears” as she was declared the winner.
This was the second such incident this week. Iranian Sayyad Ghanbari Hamad refused to fight against Israeli Tomer Or.