Sergeant Sagi Moki, who serves at the Sde Dov airbase, won a gold medal at the European Championship in judo, which was held last month in Belarus.

Sergeant Sagi Moki, a soldier from the Sde Dov airbase, recently returned to his military base with another notch in his belt: the European championship in judo for competitors weighing up to 73 kilograms. Sgt. Moki beat contestants from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Italy, and in the final round defeated French rival Pierre Dofart to take the gold medal.

Israel Air Force Soldier Becomes European Judo Champion

Judo Champion and IAF Soldier, Sergeant Sagi Moki

“This was a very successful tournament,” Sgt. Sagi said. “It’s great representing Israel with honor.”

Sergeant Moki drafted into the IDF as an outstanding athlete and now serves in the Vehicle Division of the Sde Dov airbase. He says he works hard to balance his judo training with his military service.

“I begin every day with a morning workout, and from there I go to the army and then back to working out at night”, he explained. “My commander is very considerate of my needs and allows me to come to workouts, and that way I manage to combine both areas of my life. It was important for me to draft into the army because I believe that it’s very important for every person contribute to the army as much as he can”.

Israel Air Force Soldier Becomes European Judo Champion
Other Outstanding Athletes in the IDF
Israel Air Force Soldier Becomes European Judo Champion
Other Outstanding Athletes in the IDF
Israel Air Force Soldier Becomes European Judo Champion
Other Outstanding Athletes in the IDF

Israel Air Force Soldier Becomes European Judo Champion
Other Outstanding Athletes in the IDF

In Sgt. Moki’s eyes, whether he wears his army uniform or his judo uniform, his contributions to Israel are always important. “It’s important to me to serve the State as an athlete,” he says. “This year, I had the chance to play the national anthem in Georgia, Estonia, and Belarus, and last year in Germany. Every time the audience stands for the anthem, it’s fun and brings me great pride”, he adds.

In 2016, he will take part in the Olympics in Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil, where also he hopes to take the gold on behalf of Israel.

This article originally appeared on the Israel Air Force website.