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Israeli swimmer wins gold at European Championship

At 19, Anastasia Gorbenko has risen to become an Israeli swimming sensation

Israeli Anastasia Gorbenko celebrates a gold medal in the final women's 200-meter Individual Medley in Swimming Championship at the European Aquatics in Rome, Aug. 16, 2022. (Photo: Marco Iacobucci/Sipa USA)

For the second year in a row, Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko won the gold medal in the women's 200-meter Individual Medley at the European Aquatics in Rome on Tuesday.

At 19 years old, Gorbenko continues to dominate the event. She finished with a time of 2:10.92.

“The season wasn't easy, especially mentally. I had a lot of crises and I went through a lot of stuff, but last month I set myself the goal of keeping my place, and I'm proud of myself that I did it,” Gorbenko said.

Coming in second place was Dutch swimmer Marrit Steenbergen and in third, Italy’s Sara Franceschi.

But Gorbenko led from the start. She said that at some point she noticed that she was the first to turn around which, while exciting, pressured her to maintain the lead. From lane 2, she couldn’t see the swimmers in the middle, so Gorbenko competed against herself – somewhat successfully.

Gorbenko started her stunning career at 15 years old, winning gold at  the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. In addition to other victories, she won another two gold medals at last year’s World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi – the first Israeli to do so.

She was the first Israeli woman to compete in the finals in the Olympics. She failed to medal, but she did set a new Israeli record in the 100-meter backstroke. 

“At the end of the day, it’s something that no female [Israeli] swimmer has done before, and it’s fun to be the first, and I hope there will be more in the future,” she said at the time.

Gorbenko’s latest win marks the third time a female Israeli swimmer has won a medal at the European Aquatics Championship. The first medal for Israel was won by Amit Ivry, who took home bronze in the 100-meter butterfly in 2012. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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