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Israeli triathlete Shachar Sagiv

Shachar Sagiv Becomes First Israeli Athlete to Compete in Saudi Arabia

Triathlete Shachar Sagiv has become the first Israeli athlete to compete in Saudi Arabia, the Israeli Olympic Committee said Sunday, October 30, in the latest sign of growing informal ties between the former enemies.

Sagiv competed in Neom on the same day that an Israeli tennis player faced off against a Saudi opponent in Bahrain, as the two countries without any diplomatic ties appear comfortable meeting on the field.

Olympic committee head Yael Arad called Sagiv’s presence at the Saudi NEOM leg of the Super League Triathlon on Saturday “a very significant breakthrough.”

“In the past year we’ve seen many Arab states come to terms with the fact that hosting an international tournament means hosting Israelis,” she said in a statement.“This is a growing trend and the true force in normalization between nations, and especially people.”

Sagiv and his brother Ran broke Israeli records in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by ranking 20th and 35th in the triathlon competition, respectively. They were only the second and third Israeli triathletes ever to participate in the Olympic Games. (TOI / VFI News)

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