Israeli Jiu-Jitsu Champion Dedicates Gold Medal Win to Fallen Friends

Yarin Shriki's tribute showcases resilience and friendship.



(Miljan Zivkovic /

Yarin Shriki, an Israeli jiu-jitsu practitioner achieved a remarkable victory at the Paris Jiu Jitsu 2024 Grand Prix. Competing in the adult male under-69kg Gi category, Shriki secured a gold medal after a series of intense matches against skilled opponents from around the world.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the significance of Shriki's win goes beyond the sports arena as he decided to dedicate his victory to his best friend, Yohai Ben Zechariah, who was tragically murdered by Hamas terrorists, when he participated in the Nova music festival on October 7th, 2023. This heartfelt dedication adds a poignant layer to Shriki's achievement, highlighting the deep bond between teammates and the enduring spirit of friendship.

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Skill and determination
In the final match against Ukrainian opponent Kostiantyn Shutko, Shriki displayed exceptional skill and determination. Despite a challenging start where Shutko took the lead, Shriki maintained focus and resilience. In the closing moments of the match, Shriki executed a strategic move, sweeping Shutko and securing a two-point lead. His tactical maneuver and defensive prowess prevented Shutko from gaining an advantage, ultimately leading to Shriki's victory. 

This recent triumph adds to Shriki's impressive track record, showcasing his ability to perform under pressure and rise to the occasion. It also serves as a tribute to the friend he lost at the Nova music festival, which Shriki himself also attended, emphasizing the emotional significance of his accomplishments in the realm of sports.

 "I am very proud to represent our country, especially in places where the majority isn't supporting us, and there is a lot of hate towards our people. It gives me great satisfaction to make those people stand for the Israel national anthem," Shriki told the Jerusalem Post. 

Honoring the legacy of the fallen
This is not the first time Shriki has dedicated a win to his fallen friends. His previous gold medal victory in late November last year was also dedicated to the memories of those lost at the Nova music festival. This ongoing tribute speaks volumes about Shriki's character, resilience, and unwavering commitment to honoring the legacy of his friends through his achievements in jiu-jitsu.

In an Instagram post at the time Shriki wrote, “Where do I start my story… a story that never ends. On October 7th I was at the Nova Festival with my brothers and close friends. I’ve never described what happened to us. How does a party of fun and beautiful people turn into an area full of corpses and blood? Not a few hours passed and I started to hear that people so close to me were no longer answering. We ran away as fast as possible in every direction and miraculously I made it home. But my friends didn't. I didn't have time to cry as I already found myself returning to training with all my might for the European Team Championship in Croatia”

As Shriki continues to excel in his jiu-jitsu journey, his story serves as an inspiration to athletes and individuals alike, reminding us of the power of dedication, perseverance, and the enduring bonds of friendship that transcend boundaries and challenges.

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