Israeli paralympic rower Moran Samuel took the gold medal at 2015 World Rowing Cup in Varese, Italy, Saturday beating out the Norwegian world champion Birgit Skarstein with a new personal record time in the Women's Single Sculls race.
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“As all races it was a hard race, but I enjoyed it. The water was a bit bumpy. Italy is amazing and Varese is amazing. This is just one small step in my journey to Rio. Today we enjoyed and tomorrow we go back to work,” she told the website World Rowing.
According to the site, Samuel first beat Skarstein earlier this year, and the two were considered the frontrunners for the race. The two were relatively tied at first, until the Israeli surged, putting almost six seconds between them by the finish line.
Samuel competed and won the heat with a time of 05:15.770 – a new personal record for the rower – after registering the fastest time during the qualifier. Skarstein came in second, taking the silver with a time of 05:21.750
Samuel took the fifth place when she participated in the 2012 London Paralympics. According to Israeli media, Samuel has an Italian coach but her Facebook reveals she trains in Tel Aviv's Daniel Rowing Center.