Israeli Runner Wins Gold Medal at European Athletics Championships

Lona Chemtai Salpeter, 29, is the first woman from Israel to win a gold medal in the European competition, running the second-best time in the world

Lona Chemtai Salpeter during a competition, June 25, 2017
Sharon Bukov

Israeli long-distance runner Lona Chemtai Salpeter won the gold medal in the 10,000 meters at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin Wednesday. “I wanted this medal so much because my son told me ‘I want Mommy to win first place,’” she said.

“Wow, I still don’t believe it,” she said after the race and said she was dedicating the gold medal to Israel and her family. Chemtai Salpeter, 29, is the first woman from Israel to win a gold medal in the European Athletics Championships. She has run the best time in the 10,000 meters in Europe this year and the second-best time in the world.

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev congratulated Chemtai Salpeter: “An incredible and exciting achievement for Lona, who continues to break records and break every possible ceiling.

After she shattered every possible Israeli long-distance record over the last year, Lona has given all of us great pride and enormous joy when she brought the Israeli flag to fly proudly and ‘Hatikva’ to be heard in the athletic stadium in Berlin,” said Regev.

Regev also congratulated Chemtai Salpeter’s husband and coach, Dan Salpeter, along with the rest of athletics association staff. Chemtai Salpeter broke away from Turkey’s Yasemin Can late in the race before pulling away from the entire pack in the last 400 meters, winning in 31:43:29.