Israeli Swimmer Finishes in Eighth Place in 100m Final in Tokyo

Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir
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Anastasia Gorbenko competing at the Tokyo Olympics.
Anastasia Gorbenko competing at the Tokyo Olympics.Credit: Courtesy of the Israel Olympic Committee
Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir

Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko made history when she became the first Israeli swimmer to swim in an Olympic final for women, finishing in 8th place during the women's 100m backstroke final on Monday at the Tokyo Olympics.

Gurbanko also competed in the semifinals in the 200m individual freestyle, finishing in fifth place with 2:10:70 minutes in her heat and tenth overall in the category, thus failing to qualify for the finals. She won the European Championship in the category earlier this year.

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The 17-year-old moved to the backstroke finals after completing her heat in just 59.30 seconds breaking the Israeli record by 30 milliseconds.

Amir Tito, Israel Swimming Association CEO, said that "everything is working as planned." Adding that officials in the association "aren't surprised," by Gorbenko's results.

Apart from Gurbanko, only two Israelis previously swam in the Olympic singles final - Eitan Orbach, who finished eighth in the 100m backstroke in Sydney in 2000, and Yaakov Tomarkin, who finished seventh in the 200m backstroke in London 2012.

So far, Israel has won one medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Taekwondo fighter Avishag Semberg was the first Israeli to win a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning a bronze medal on Saturday.

Semberg defeated the former European champion, Turkey's Rukiye Yldrm 27-22 in the women's -49 kg event, winning the bronze medal for Israel.

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