Israeli Swimmer Wins Second Gold in Abu Dhabi World Championship

Anastasia Gorbenko's 100-meter win comes days after setting a new Israeli record in the Abu Dhabi competition

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Israel's Anastasia Gorbenko smiles after winning 50 meters breaststroke during World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Friday.
Israel's Anastasia Gorbenko smiles after winning 50 meters breaststroke during World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Friday.Credit: Kamran Jebreili,AP
Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir

Anastasia Gorbenko won her second gold on Sunday in the world swimming championship in Abu Dhabi, finishing the 100-meter medley in 57.80 seconds and setting a new Israeli record.

"My only goal is to have fun and just do my best," the 18-year-old swimmer said fresh after the race.

Shaving off nearly a second from her semifinal performance, Gorbenko overtook France's Brill Gastaldello in second place and Russia's Maria Kamaneva in third.

On Friday, the 18-year-old became the first Israeli to ever become a world championship gold medalist when she won gold in the 50-meter short-court breast stroke event.

After only qualifying for the final in sixth place, Gorbenko also set a new Israeli record of 29.34 seconds for the event, even though the 50-meter breaststroke was not considered one of Gorbenko's strengths.

The young swimmer is set to return to the pool Sunday evening for the 100-meter breaststroke race.

In May, Gorbenko won the country's first ever gold medal at an Olympic swimming event at the European Aquatics Championship held in Budapest. She set a new Israeli record of 2:09:99 minutes in the 200-meter individual medley final.

The current competition run by FINA, not considered an Olympic event, administers international competitions in water sports, and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

Last summer, Gorbenko became the big star of the Israeli swimming delegation, finishing in eighth place in the Olympic 100-meter backstroke final, and also swimming with the men's and women's 100x4 mixed relay team.

Gorbenko is also the European champion in long-course races, when she won gold last year in the 200-meter individual medley.

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