Israeli judoka takes gold medal at European Games in Baku
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Israeli judoka takes gold medal at European Games in Baku

Israeli athletes win total of 12 medals at first-ever championships in Azerbaijan

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)

Israeli judoka Sagi Muki took home gold at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday, becoming the country’s first gold medalist at the inaugural games.

The 23-year-old won the medal after defeating his Georgian rival Nugzari Tatalashvli in the final round in the under 73-kilogram weight class.

Later on Saturday, Israel nabbed a second gold medal when swimmer Ziv Kalontarov won the 50-meter freestyle heat in an impressive 22.16 seconds. His time automatically qualifies him for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

“I still can’t believe that I’m going to be in Rio,” Kalontarov told Israel’s Olympic Committee. “But the most important thing is that I broke my own record by a lot and I’m so proud of myself for that,” he said.

Also qualifying for the 2016 Olympics is former European shooting champion Sergey Richter, who took bronze for the 10-meter air rifle event after scoring 185.5 in Sunday’s final.

Israeli judoka Ori Sasson won the silver medal in the over 100-kilogram weight class on Saturday. After four consecutive wins, Sasson was defeated in the finals by his Georgian opponent Adam Okruashvili.

Posted by ‎הוועד האולימפי בישראל‎ on Sunday, 21 June 2015

Earlier this week at the games, Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team won multiple bronze and silver medals in group events, while Neta Rivkin won a bronze medal for her solo hoops event.

Ilana Kratyshtook received a silver medal for under 69-kilogram women’s freestyle wrestling, while Yarden Gerbi, the former female world champion in judo, placed third overall and won bronze after beating Ana Cachola from Portugal.

Israeli athletes won a total of 12 medals for Israel in the first-ever European Games which began on June 12. A closing ceremony will take place on Sunday.

Israel’s Olympic Committee said it was overjoyed with the victories.

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