January 17, 2020

Egyptian Judoka Refuses to Shake Israeli’s Hand After Loss

Judo - World Judo Championships - Men's Under 81kg - Gold Medal Contest - Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan - August 28, 2019 Israel's Sagi Muki celebrates winning gold against Belgium's Matthias Casse REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

An Egyptian judoka refused to shake his Israeli opponent’s hand after losing in the Aug. 28 World Judo Championship semifinals in Tokyo.

The Israeli, Sagi Muki, barely defeated his Egyptian opponent Mohamed Abdelaal. Muki can be seen offering to shake Abdelaal’s hand, but Abdelaal rebuffed Muki’s offer and walked away.

Muki, who received the gold medal after defeating Belgian judoka Matthias Casse in the championship round later in the day, said afterward that he was “sorry” that Abdelaal didn’t shake his hand. He added that he is “pleased that I was able to show the beautiful face of Israel.”

Muki can be seen singing along to Israel’s national anthem “Hatikvah” after winning the gold.

Twitter weighed in Abdelaal rejecting Muki’s handshake:

Abdelaal is not the first Egyptian judoka to rebuff an Israeli judoka’s handshake offer. In 2016, Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby also rejected a handshake from his Israeli opponent Ori Sasson in the Rio Olympics; Sasson went onto win the bronze medal that year.

Additionally, in Oct. 2017, the United Arab Emirates wouldn’t play Hatikvah after Israeli judo Tal Flicker won the gold medal in the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam Competition, prompting the Flicker to sing Hatikvah to himself during the award ceremony.