A moment of pride for Israel as Israeli judoka Sagi Muki takes home a gold medal in his weight class at the Tashkent Grand Prix judo tournament in Uzbekistan, raising Israel’s total medals at the Grand Prix to three. Olympic medalist Or Sasson is scheduled to compete at the same tournament today (Sunday).

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In an impressive achievement for Israeli judokas, Sagi Muki won a gold medal on Saturday in the Tashkent Grand Prix in Uzbekistan, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world of judo. This is the third medal for the Israeli team from the Grand Prix.

After losing the match for bronze and finishing fifth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Muki competed in the Tashkent tournament following his recent recovery from a serious injury. After beating his Russian and Azerbaijanian opponents, Muki rose to the finals to face former Asian Championships winner Nyamsuren Dagvasuren from Mongolia.

Sagi Muki (right) with his coach Oren Smadja

Sagi Muki (right) with his coach Oren Smadja Photo Credit: Olympic Committee/Channel 2 News

The final match was accompanied by penalties for the two judokas totaling in a score for gold, which Muki won. “Sagi is a real champion, a unique fighter and I am proud of him and the path he’s taken despite the many difficulties he goes through,” said Oren Smadja, coach of the Israeli national team

President of the Israel Judo Association Moshe Ponte said: “Even when Sagi was injured and under rehabilitation, we did not think for a moment to give up on him. He is a great athlete and this is just the tip of all his potential. We look onward with many high hopes for him. Everything though depends on him, his work, his efforts and his own belief in himself. Great job to him and to Oren Smadja.”

Today (Sunday), Israeli Olympic medalist Or Sasson will also compete in the Tashkent tournament in what will be his first major competition since last year’s Summer Olympics.