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Anastasia Gorbenko wins Israel’s 1st-ever World Swimming Championships gold

18-year-old athlete’s 29.34-second 50-meter breaststroke time in Abu Dhabi is a new Israeli women’s short course record

Israel's Anastasia Gorbenko smiles after winning 50 meters breaststroke during World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Israel's Anastasia Gorbenko smiles after winning 50 meters breaststroke during World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko on Friday won Israel’s first-ever gold in the World Swimming Championships, in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Gorbenko won first place in the FINA short course contest taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with a result of 29.34 seconds, setting a new Israeli record for women in that category.

Benedetta Pilato of Italy came in second with 29.50, while Sophie Hansson of Sweden was third with 29.55.

It also marked Israel’s third-ever medal in the world championships, after Michael Halika came third in the 400m individual medley in 2000, and Vered Borochovski took bronze in the 50m butterfly in 2002.

Last month Gorbenko came first in the 2021 European Short Course Swimming Championships, in the 200-meter individual medley.

She also made history earlier this year when she became the first female Israeli swimmer to advance to an Olympic final.

WATCH!Amazing moment as the Hatikvah is played at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi for Israel’s FIRST ever world swimming champion Anastasia Gorbenko.

Posted by Sussex Friends Of Israel on Saturday, December 18, 2021

The 18-year-old, then 17, eventually finished in eighth place in the 100m backstroke final, but was hailed in Israel for her performance.

Gorbenko said then that she brings everything she has to every race: “My goal is always to advance as far as possible, and to break my own personal records.”

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