Israeli windsurfer takes silver medal at world championship
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Israeli windsurfer takes silver medal at world championship

Katy Spychakov comes in 2nd in women’s category at contest on Lake Garda in Italy; first Israeli medal at the global competition since 2014

Israeli windsurfer Katy Spychakov after taking the silver medal at the RS:X World Championships at Lake Garda in Italy, September 28, 2019 (Screen grab via Kan)
Israeli windsurfer Katy Spychakov after taking the silver medal at the RS:X World Championships at Lake Garda in Italy, September 28, 2019 (Screen grab via Kan)

Israeli windsurfer Katy Spychakov, 20, on Saturday took the silver medal at the RS:X World Championships at Lake Garda in Italy.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, the achievement marks the first Israeli medal in the global competition since 2014.

“I’m really excited. I gained a lot of points for the fight for a place at Tokyo,” Spychakov told Kan, referring to the 2020 Olympic Games. “I had an amazing summer,” she added.

Last year, Spychakov came in seventh place in the RS:X European Championships in Sopot, Poland.

The women’s category in the RS:X World Championships at Lake Garda in Italy, September 28, 2019 (Screen grab via YouTube)

On Saturday, Spychakov came in behind China’s Yunxiu Lu and ahead of Lilian De Geus of The Netherlands, who took bronze.

The highest-ranking Israeli in the men’s championship was Tom Reuveny, who took 8th place.

Spychakov’s success came after an upset for Israel when runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, one of the country’s leading athletes, collapsed Saturday during a marathon in the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, failing to finish the race.

Chemtai Salpeter had been considered one of the frontrunners in the race, but dropped out at around 32 kilometers (20 miles), while she was in fifth place, due to excessive heat.

Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter competes in the women’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, September 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Out of the 68 runners who participated in the race, 23 failed to finish, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations, which presided over the event.

On Friday, the organization told entrants that the race would be held as planned despite heat of 30-32.7 °C (86-91 °F) and humidity of 73 percent. The letter to the runners said that medical personnel were preparing for the harsh conditions. The marathon and other endurance events were being held late at night to minimize exposure to heat.

Luke Tress contributed to this report.

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