The story of the friendship between Israeli and Iranian judo world champions Sagi Muki and Saeid Mollaei is being developed for television by Israel’s Tadmor Entertainment and MGM.
The series will tell the story of the two judokas, who have reportedly become fast friends since Iran ordered Mollaei to forefit the semifinal at the 2019 Tokyo World Judo Championship so as not to compete against Israeli athlete Muki in the finals.
Mollaei then fled to live as a refugee in Germany. He recently participated in the Grand Slam international judo competition held in Tel Aviv, making headlines for his warm relations with the Israeli athletes.
Mollaei won a silver medal in the competition, while Muki was surprisingly ejected from the competition in the first round.
According to Channel 12, Mollaei told Muki after the competition was over: “Maybe we’ll meet in the finals of the Olympics.”
The two judokas are both expected to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Live footage and interviews from the two athletes’ careers will accompany the series, and a companion documentary is also in the works.
Mollaei commented that the TV series is a “fantastic opportunity to show that judo and sports are an amazing way to break barriers.”