London 2012

Israeli Tennis Player Noam Gershony Wins Gold in 2012 Paralympics

The wheelchair tennis star beats David Wagner of the United States to win Israel's first Olympic gold since 2004.

Wheelchair tennis player Noam Gershony registered the biggest accomplishment of his illustrious career on Saturday by winning gold in the quad single's final. Gershony, ranked second in the world, defeated world no. 1 David Wagner of the United States 6-3, 6-1.

In front of a packed stadium, Gershony played increasingly better as the match wore on, and was particularly strong with his returns. He played smart, making accurate shots that produced several winners.

After his triumph, Gershony was selected to be Israel's flag bearer in Sunday night's closing ceremonies. "I didn't expect this sort of thing," an excited Gershony said on Saturday. "I also didn't expect to get so emotional on the podium and to hear [Israeli national anthem] 'Hatikva,'" he added.

Gershony secured his country's first gold, and seventh medal overall, but Israel was not finished with visits to the medal podium. Minutes later, swimmer Inbal Pezaro finished the women's 100-meter freestyle S5 in 1:22.56, to claim her third bronze medal of the Games. She improved over three seconds from her fifth-ranked showing in the heats yesterday afternoon to swim past Norway's Sarah Louise Rung, who had won Pezaro's heat.

With only Gad Yarkoni who is not a medal hope ¬ Israel's final competitor, in Sunday's marathon, Israel is slated to finish the London Games with one gold, two silvers and five bronze medals, ranking it among the top 50 at the Paralympics.

The delegation is scheduled to return to Israel tomorrow night at 10:30 P.M and to meet President Shimon Peres on Tuesday.