Tokyo Paralympics: Israeli Swimmer Mark Malyar Wins Second Gold, Sets New World Record

Malyar breaks another world record in the men's 400m freestyle event, after rower Moran Samuel snags silver, bringing Israel's medal count at the Paralympic Games up to five

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Israel's Mark Malyar during the men's 400m freestyle event at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Sunday.
Israel's Mark Malyar during the men's 400m freestyle event at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Sunday.Credit: Lisi Niesner/Reuters
Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir

Israeli swimmer Mark Malyar won his second gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Sunday, also setting a new world record in the men's 400-meter freestyle event, bringing Israel's medal count to five, with three of them gold.

Malyar finished the race first with a time of 4:31.06 minutes, about 2 seconds quicker than the past world record, which he set himself two years ago.

Malyar's gold is Israel's second medal at the Tokyo Games on Sunday. Earlier in the day, rower Moran Samuel won a silver medal in the women’s 2,000-meter single sculls.

Moran Samuel at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, on Sunday.Credit: Lilach Weiss

39-year-old Samuel, who snagged a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games, finished second with a time of 11:18.39 minutes, coming after world champion Birgit Skarstein of Norway. France’s Nathalie Benoit finished third.

President Issac Herzog called Samuel “a superwoman… Not just for winning a silver medal, but for how she copes so impressively with all the challenges of life.” 

On Saturday, swimmer Ami Dadaon won another silver medal for Israel in the men's 150-meter individual medley.

A day earlier, Malyar won his first gold medal and set a new world record in the men's 200-meter individual medley, finishing the race at 2:29.01.

On Wednesday, Iyad Shalabi won gold in the 100-meter backstroke (S1 classification), finishing with a final time of 2:28.04. Shalabi's gold marked the first time an Arab athlete won a medal for Israel at the games.

The Paralympics, founded by the late German-Jewish doctor Ludwig Guttman, are for athletes with physical disabilities. Some 4,500 athletes compete in 539 events in the 16th Paralympics.

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