Judoka Raz Hershko on Saturday was ranked No.1 among senior female competitors by the International Judo Federation, a first for an Israeli in the sport.
The rankings are made up of 2,000 women aged 17 and over from more than 200 countries, and include all weight classes.
“It’s very flattering to me, even exciting, but it’s only a stop along the road,” Hershko, 25, said in response.
She also thanked her team, while adding she was “not blinded [by] or content” with the achievement.
Shani Hershko, the Israeli national judo team’s coach and Raz’s aunt, said the judoka was “busy 24/7 to do what she needs to improve.”
“We purposely look for the hardest fights, without assumptions or excuses, in order to always challenge ourselves to make history in everything possible,” said the coach, echoing her niece’s remarks that it was only a stop along the way to “additional historic achievements.”
“Raz is not just an amazing athlete, but an amazing person, and is an amazing example to many boys and girls. The road she has taken is inspiring, and her ranking is not accidental, but the result of her hard work, the work of Shani Hershko, and of the Israeli national women’s team. I am proud of her,” said Moshe Ponte, president of the Israel Judo Association.
In February, Hershko claimed Israel’s second gold medal at the international judo championships in Tel Aviv.
Her victory came a day after fellow Olympian Sagi Muki won Israel’s first gold medal of the Grand Slam.
Competing in the 78-kilogram category, Hershko won the silver medal at the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam in Mongolia in June and claimed bronze at the world championships in Qatar in May.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.