No Israeli anthem at fencing competition

VIENNA, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Austrian officials concede they did not play Israel's anthem at an international fencing competition where two Israeli teens won gold and bronze medals.

The Austrian official in charge of playing the national anthems of countries of the winning participants, explained he was unable to find a recording of the Israeli anthem, Yedioth Aharonoth reported Sunday.


Dana Stralinkov, 14, and Alona Komarov, 13, waited to hear Israel's national anthem Hatikva played after receiving their medals Saturday, the newspaper said.

After a few minutes of silence, the two Israeli teens along with the entire Israeli delegation of 22 people, burst into song and sung Hatikva, the teenagers' coach Yaakov Friedman said.

"It was a very moving moment," Freidman told the paper.

A similar incident occurred five months ago at a competition in Sweden he said.

Yossi Harari, chairman of the Israel Fencing Association said he intended to submit a complaint to the European Union. Harari also advised supplying every Israeli delegation participating in competitions abroad, with a recorded disc of Israel's national anthem, the paper said.

One hundred and twenty participants from 20 countries participated in the European Cup fencing competition in Austria, the paper said.

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