Tokyo Paralympics: Swimmer Mark Malyar Breaks World Record, Wins Second Gold for Israel

21-year-old Malyar took up swimming at age five with his twin brother Ariel, who also has cerebral palsy

Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir
Mark Malyar at the men's 200m individual medley final at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Friday.
Mark Malyar at the men's 200m individual medley final at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Friday.Credit: Marko Djurica/Reuters
Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir

Israeli swimmer Mark Malyar won a gold medal and set a new world record Friday in the men's 200-meter individual medley in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Malyar finished the race at 2:29.01. Earlier on Friday, he also broke an Israeli record after finishing first in the qualifiers at 2:32.86.

Israel's President Isaac Herzog congratulated Mark after his win, saying "Mark, this is so exciting. You are unstoppable. Both a gold medal and a Made-in-Israel world record! I wish you, your brother, and your special coach Yaakov Beininson more medals over the course of the games. Well done!"

The 21-year-old took up swimming at age five with his twin brother Ariel, who also has cerebral palsy.

In 2017 he was named Athlete of the Year by the Israeli Paralympic Committee. Malyar is the world champion in both 400 and 800 meter freestyle.

This is the second gold medal for Israel in this year's Paralympic Games. On Wednesday, Iyad Shalabi won gold in the 100-meter backstroke (S1 classification), finishing with a final time of 2:28.04.

The Tokyo Paralympics mark Shalabi's fourth appearance at the competition, but this is the first time the swimmer, who trains in Haifa, has won a medal.

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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