Israeli-American athlete Donald Sanford made some Israeli history on Friday when he won a bronze medal in the 400 meter dash in the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland – the first running medal for Israel in the history of the championships.

Israel had previously received two gold medals in the championships, both by pole vaulter Alex Averbukh, in 2002 and 2006.

Sanford crossed the finish line in 45.27 seconds, just behind the two British runners Martyn Rooney and Matthew Hudson-Smith who came in at 44.71 and 44.75 respectively.

While at Arizona State University, Sanford met his future wife, an Israeli who was studying overseas, and in 2008 the two married.

In 2010 Sanford began his citizenship process, and in 2012 he represented Israel at the European Championship.

Born in Los Angeles, Sanford competed for ASU’s Sun Devils at the collegiate level, and was a member of the team that won the national championship in the 4X400 relay race.

Yoel Goldman contributed to this report.