After a one-day hiatus, Israel went back to racking up medals at the Tokyo Paralympics, with two more golds in swimming. Iyad Shalabi, who won Israel's first gold in the games, repeated the feat Thursday with victory in the 50-meter backstroke, with Ami Dadaon later taking gold in the 50-meter freestyle with a Paralympics record.
Shalabi, who on the first day of the competition became the first Israeli Arab to win a medal at the Paralympics or the Olympics, finished Thursday with a time of 1:11.79. He beat Ukrainian Anton Kol, who finished second with a time of 1:13.78. Italian Francesco Bettella finished third. The competition was in the S1 category, which is the highest level of impairment.
The Tokyo Paralympics marked Shalabi’s fourth appearance at the tournament, but this was the first one in which the native of Shfaram in northern Israel, who trains in Haifa, had claimed a medal.
The Israeli delegation's fantastic day continued with another gold medal in swimming, won by Ami Dadaon. Dadaon set a Paralympic record in the 50-meter freestyle. The Israeli swimmer, who reached the final round in second place, led from the very beginning, and finished with a time of 37.21 seconds, half a second ahead of Japanese swimmer Takayuki Suzuki. Israeli Ariel Malyar finished in seventh.
The victories represent Israel's ninth medal so far at the Tokyo Paralympics, and the sixth gold.