Muki misses out on medal on Day 3 of Rio 2016


Sagi Muki expressed disappointment after missing out on a medal at Rio 2016.

Muki was one of Israel's top medal hopes but he failed to reach the semi-finals and was forced to settle for fifth place in the Men's U73kg Judo competition.

The 24-year-old won his opening match but was defeated by world number two Rustam Orujov in the last four. That was followed by another loss against Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia.

"I'm kind of disappointed because it's my dream," said Muki. "I'm not settling for just anything. That's how I was raised.. It's painful and uncomfortable, but if I'm looking at two months back, who would have thought I'd manage to get on the mat. They were the hardest two months of my as an athlete."

Muki went on to reflect on his battle to overcome injuries to make the plane to Brazil. "Two months ago I tore an ankle just before the Masters tournament. One month before the Olympics and really hurt my lower back - the worst thing that could happen. That made my preparations for the Olympics difficult.

"But I was raised to fight and not give up. I try to look insanely optimistic about everything. At the end of the day I'm happy that in spite of the crisis I've proved to myself that no matter what, I can handle anything. I've dealt with these injuries like a lion.

"I want to thank my coach Oren Smadja, who has always been there to guide me since I was four years old." He went on to praise Moses Ponti, the "excellent" chairman of the National Olympic Committee, the Israel medical team led by Luba Glyẕqyh, his sponsors and family and friends, as well as the people of Israel for their "support and encouragement".

"I am proud to represent a country like ours," said Muki. "Thanks for being with me throughout this amazing journey. Now I'll take some rest and come back healthy and strong towards the next journey, Tokyo 2020."

Israel's sailors were off the pace in Rio, with Maayan Davidovich in seventh spot with 11 points after three races in the Women's RS:X, while Shahar Zubari held 16th position with 26 points.

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