Israeli judoka Sagi Muki overcame a Bulgarian opponent to win the gold medal in the men’s under-81-kilogram weight class at the Judo Grand Slam on May 10 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Israeli teammate Tohar Butbul won a silver medal in the men’s under-71kg category, and Gefen Primo won a bronze medal in the women’s under-51kg class. The competition drew 431 judokas from 57 nations.
Muki has risen to first place in the world rankings, making him a strong contender for Israel’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics squad.
Last October, Muki won the gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, and Israel’s national anthem was played in a Gulf state for the first time ever. In January 2019, he won one of four Israeli gold medals at Israel’s first-ever International Judo Federation Grand Prix event.
In other sports news, Israeli Olympic badminton player Misha Zilberman is headed for his third Summer Games after winning a gold medal in men’s singles at the 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) International Challenge in Brazil.
Zilberman competed for Israel at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Olympics. He also represented Israel at the 2015 European Games. He’s ranked 44th internationally. The next stop for Zilberman is the Total BWF Sudirman Cup 2019, May 19-26 in China.