Israeli Windsurfer Scores Silver at World Championship

Katy Spychakov has a clear run to represent Israel at the next Olympics, after an impressive showing in Italy

Spychakov celebrating her silver medal at the Windsurfing World Championships, Torbole, Italy, September 28, 2019
Israel Sailing Association

Katy Spychakov of Israel won a silver medal Saturday in the RS:X Windsurfing World Championship taking place on Italy's Lake Garda.

This is the first medal won in by an Israeli since 2014 in a sport in which Israelis once excelled. Spychakov, who is 20, also won a gold medal in the under-21 World Championship.

After moving from seventh to third place, Spychakov closed the gap to only two points behind the previous world champion, Lilian de Geus of the Netherlands. She kept her position on Saturday, and jumped ahead of de Geus, taking the prestigious silver.

Chinese windsurfer Yunxiu Lu, who came in first on Friday, held her lead on Saturday and took gold.

Katy Spichakov in action, Marseille, France, June 2019
Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Altogether, Spychakov tallied 47 negative points in the competition, only two more than the new world champion. 

Spychakov has been on a roll for the past few months. In August, she won a bronze medal in the pre-Olympics event in Japan, which is meant to mimic the conditions facing athletes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Her victory this weekend will go a long way to ensure her participation in the competition, after the rest of the Israeli women finished far behind. The most prominent were Noy Darihan, who finished 16th and Maya Morris, who came in 23rd.

In the men’s competition, Tom Reuveni came in seventh in the medals competition and eighth in the championship.