August 28, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, was perhaps the happiest moment in Sagi Muki's career.
At the end of an amazing day of fights in the weight category up to 81 kg, the Israeli judoka made history and became the first ever to win the gold medal at the world championships, while he achieved his fifth title in six fights in the final.
But from that very day when he stepped on the podium, played the national anthem and moved an entire country, it seems that something is not working with Mookie and he is only going backwards.
Pay attention to the following data: since February 18 - almost two years ago - he won only one medal.
He did this at the 2021 European Championships when he obtained the bronze, and from that time he participated in 13 other competitions and returned empty-handed in the individual competition.
If that's not enough, in nine of those 13 competitions, he was knocked out in his first fight, including at the Tokyo Olympics and last year's World Championships in Tashkent.
Beyond that, he was also unable to get a score and lost them by penalties or by default.
Conducted business as usual
So what actually happened here?
Is the passion gone?
Do the opponents know him too well?
A mental problem or some other reason we don't know about?
Of course, it is important to remember that the corona virus also came and stopped his momentum, the back problems did not really disappear and age also takes its toll.
In addition, there is also Mookie from outside the mat, who is receiving quite a bit of criticism in this period on social networks, with many appearances on TV shows and series, and while his teammates even left social networks and others let time take its course - he put up stories, as if nothing
had happened .
Sagi Muki in the Paris Grand Slam.
He was knocked out again in the first fight, photo: IJF
But there is also reason for optimism.
Precisely in the mixed team competitions, in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 and the World Championships in Tashkent, when he got on the mat when not all the pressure was directed at him and with a considerable portfolio of a former world champion - Muki was much more relaxed, he was able to beat better quality opponents than he does today (even if this happened against opponents of higher weights than him ), and reminded us of Mookie from his heyday.
Mookie, it's time to wake up.
Right now, less than two weeks before the Tel Aviv Grand Slam, you can put everything aside, get on the mat knowing that it can't get any worse, and with the push of the local crowd, prove to all of us that you still have something to give.
were we wrong
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