Israeli judoka loses in Olympic semifinals
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Israeli judoka loses in Olympic semifinals

Sagi Muki, the reigning European champion in under-73 kg class, goes down to Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan; will now fight for bronze

Israel's Sagi Muki (in blue) competes against Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan in the semifinals of the men's under 73kg judo competition at the Olympic Games in Rio on August 8, 2016 (screen shot: Channel 56)
Israel's Sagi Muki (in blue) competes against Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan in the semifinals of the men's under 73kg judo competition at the Olympic Games in Rio on August 8, 2016 (screen shot: Channel 56)

Israeli judoka Sagi Muki on Monday lost in the men’s lightweight judo semifinals at the 2016 Olympics.

Muki, the reigning European champion in the under-73 kg weight class, was defeated by Azerbaijan’s Rustam Orujov. He can still win a bronze medal, if he wins the third-place fight. He will fight Georgia’s Lasha Shavdatuashvili for the bronze later Monday.

Muki earlier defeated American Nick Delpopolo with an ippon — the highest possible score in judo, which ends a round — in the quarterfinals.

That win came hours after his defeat of Slovenian former European champion Rok Drakšič in the round of 16.

Israeli judoka Sagi Muki with his gold medal at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan on June 27, 2015. (Amit Shissel/Israeli Olympic Committee)
Israeli judoka Sagi Muki with his gold medal at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan on June 27, 2015. (Amit Shissel/Israeli Olympic Committee)

Monday also saw Sergy Rikhter, Israel’s great Olympic hope in the men’s 10m air rifle, finish a disappointing 14th place with 623.8 points.

Sergy Rikhter at the World Cup tournament in South Korea, April 2013. (courtesy)
Sergy Rikhter at the World Cup tournament in South Korea, April 2013. (courtesy)

Richter was expected to finish in the top eight among 50 contenders and move to the next round, but failed to make the cut.

In 2012, Richter was one point away from making the championship round. He was European champion in 2013.

On Sunday, four Israeli athletes were knocked out of the Games, including judokas Golan Pollack and Gili Cohen.

Swimmer Amit Ivry finished the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:09, falling short of the top 16 and missing her chance to move on to the semifinals.

A short while later, Yakov Toumarkin finished the 100-meter backstroke in 54.66 seconds, which was not enough to push him into the next round.

Israel's Shira Rishoni (blue) competes with Ukraine's Maryna Cherniak during their women's -48kg judo match in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 2016. (AFP/Jack Guez)
Israel’s Shira Rishoni (blue) competes with Ukraine’s Maryna Cherniak during their women’s -48kg judo match in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 2016. (AFP/Jack Guez)

On Saturday, Israeli judoka Shira Rishoni was disqualified from the Olympic Games in Rio on a technical foul during her first battle.

Israeli judo team members Or Sasson, Yarden Gerbi, and Linda Bolder are still in the running.

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