Israelis take 3 metals at 2019 Baku Grand Slam Judo Championship

At the 2019 Grand Slam Championship, Israeli judokas Sagi Muki wins the gold medal, while Gefen Primo takes the bronze, and Tohar Butbul brings home a silver medal from Baku, Azerbaijan.

By Neri Weiss


The fact that Israel is an international judo power is already known to all. On Saturday, Israeli judokas continued to show superiority over the judo mat when they won three medals at the Grand Slam Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Baku Grand Slam 2019, -52 kg, PRIMO Gefen,- Photo: Sabau Gabriela/International Judo Federation

The first one on the podium was Gefen Primo, who won the bronze medal.

The next on the podium was the great Sagi Muki who won the gold medal. Muki’s win in Baku is a great achievement as he won a medal in every competition he participated in 2109. He won a silver medal earlier in the year at the Grand Slam Paris.

On the way to the final, Muki met his well-known opponent, Matthias Casse of Belgium, whom he also defeated at the Abu Dhabi final in October 2018. Muki survived an exhausting battle that lasted almost six minutes. In the final, he met Ivan Ivanov of Bulgaria in the final rematch of the Grand Prix in Tel Aviv in January. Muki made a third appearance in the competition, which crowned him as champion.

The Israeli judoka in the under 73 kg weight category, Tohar Butbul, won the silver medal. The promising young Israeli who won the bronze medal at the Grand Prix in Tel Aviv four months ago continues to do well.

Outgoing Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) congratulated the winners of the medals, saying, “Good news from the Grand Slam championship in Baku with the win of Sagi Muki and Tohar Butbul at the beginning of the week of Eurovision and the National Cup finals.”

Baku Grand Slam 2019, -81 kg, Gold Metal Wunner, ISR MUKI – Photo: Di Feliciantonio Emanuele/International Judo Federation

“Our Sagi Muki continues to fill us with pride and joy when the national anthem is played in every auditorium around the world – this time the Grand Slam Baku with his win of a gold medal,” continued Regev. “Congratulations also to Tohar Butbul for winning the silver medal after fighting like a lion in the long and tense final against Yariv Azari.”

“Our judo athletes continue to demonstrate an impressive fighting spirit and instill much hope for the Olympics in Tokyo a year from now,” Regev concluded.


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