ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Gymnast Dolgopyat wins Israel’s first-ever World Championships gold

Winning floor final on Saturday, Olympic gold medalist sends best wishes to Jewish state as success is overshadowed by massive Hamas onslaught

Israel's Artem Dolgopyat celebrates with a gold medal on the podium after the Men's Floor Final during the 52nd FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, in Antwerp, northern Belgium, on October 7, 2023. (Lionel BONAVENTURE/AFP)
Israel's Artem Dolgopyat celebrates with a gold medal on the podium after the Men's Floor Final during the 52nd FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, in Antwerp, northern Belgium, on October 7, 2023. (Lionel BONAVENTURE/AFP)

Olympic champion Artem Dolgopyat gave Israel its first-ever world gymnastics gold medal Saturday after winning the men’s floor final in Antwerp, Belgium.

Dolgopyat’s achievement went under the radar as the country faced a deadly, surprise assault by Hamas terrorists.

Dolgopyat scored 14.866 points to take the title ahead of Japan’s Kazuki Minami (14.666), with Milad Karimi (14.600) giving Kazakhstan its first world medal since 1997 with bronze.

“This is probably the happiest day for me and for my country, but it isn’t really,” he said after his victory, holding an Israel flag with black stripes on it. “I want to send everyone strength, hugs and health.”

Ukraine-born Dolgopyat, 26, won floor silver at the worlds in 2017 and 2019, before claiming Olympic gold in Tokyo in 2021.

In 2022, he won a gold medal for his floor routine at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Munich, despite suffering an injury to his foot a month earlier.

The athlete immigrated to Israel from Ukraine at the age of 12 and is considered one of Israel’s most successful athletes.

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