Gold medalist Sagi Muki of Israel at the award ceremony for the men's under-81 kg class of the World Judo Championships in Tokyo, Aug. 28, 2019. (AP/Koji Sasahara) AP/Koji Sasahara
Gold medalist Sagi Muki of Israel poses for a photo during the award ceremony of the men's -81 kilogram class of the World Judo Championships in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.

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The Israeli national anthem, “Hatikva,” was played in the Japanese capital as 27-year-old judoka Sagi Muki stood on the podium.

By United With Israel Staff 

For the first time, an Israeli male judoka has won a gold medal at the Judo World Championship. It happened on Wednesday in Tokyo.

The Israeli national anthem, “Hatikva,” was played in the Japanese capital as 27-year-old judoka Sagi Muki stood on the podium after he was given the gold medal for winning in the under-81 kg weight category. He defeated Belgian opponent Matthias Casse in the final.

It was Muki’s first medal of any sort at a World Championship. He had taken the gold at the European Championship twice, in 2015 and 2018.

In the quarter-final, he defeated Egyptian Mohamed Abdelaal, who refused to shake Muki’s hand after having lost the match to the Israeli judoka.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “You have brought much pride and respect to all of us.” He also posted a video conversation with the new world champion, during which he invited Muki to visit the Prime MInister’s Office in Jerusalem and bring the medal with him.