Israel's Sagi Muki receives the gold medal. (Roy Alima/Flash90) (Roy Alima/Flash90)
Sagi Muki


Israel’s judo fighters won four medals in the European Senior Judo Championships 2018 held in Tel Aviv.

By: JNS and United with Israel Staff

Israeli judoka Sagi Muki won first place in the European Senior Judo Championships 2018 in Tel Aviv on Friday, closely defeating Sami Chouchi from Belgium just seconds before a sudden-death match was declared.

Israelis Tal Flicker, Peter Paltchik and Gefen Primo also did well, winning bronze medals at the event.

The competition began on Friday with a moment of silence in memory of the 10 Israeli teenagers killed in flash floods in southern Israel the previous day.

“We bow our heads and share in the pain of the difficult loss of the boys and girls, the best of our children, who were killed in the terrible disaster,” said Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev.

Unlike in recent martial-arts matches in Muslim countries, the Israeli national anthem “Hatikva” was played as Muki was awarded the medal.

Muki will receive a NIS 40,000 prize (more than $11,000) from the joint fund of the Israel Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Sports Betting Board.

Five of Israel’s nine Olympic medals are for Judo, which has become the country’s unofficial national sport.

Israel earned its first two Olympic medals, both in judo — a silver for Yael Arad in women’s half middleweight and a bronze for Oren Smadja in men’s lightweight at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Arik Zeevi followed suit, winning bronze as a heavyweight at the 2004 Athens Games.

Israeli fighters have won world and European championships, and some 60,000 Israeli schoolchildren take judo classes, one of the most popular youth sports.