Could This Young Girl Bring Home the Gold for Israel?
Israel has won precious few Olympic medals, but can now boast the best rhythmic gymnast in the world
Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram from Rishon Lezion looks ready to take gold at the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Israeli athlete won two more gold medals, adding to her growing collection, as well as a silver medal at this weekend’s 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus.
Ashram took gold for her individual routine and for her team’s performance. The 19-year-old Ashram broke the world record for points received in her team performance, surpassing the record set by Russian Dian Averina in the 2018 European Championships.
Averina is considered the world’s greatest rhythmic gymnast. Russian gymnasts have dominated the competitions for many years and Ashram’s win shows that she can perform well under pressure in this specialized and rigorous sport. The Israeli Olympic Committee pointed out that Ashram is the first person in the history of the international championships to win two gold medals in one season. She also won gold in the competition in Spain this year.
The Israeli gymnast will be competing later this year at the World Championships in Bulgaria. Last year, she finished third in the all-around competition at the World Championships in Italy, making her the first Israeli to ever win a medal in the category.
Israel has been sending teams to the Olympic Games since 1952. Even unforgettable tragedy in 1972, when 11 members of the Israeli delegation were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, did not stop the Israelis from participating in the games.
So far, Israeli has won only a single gold medal, in sailing in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and one silver medal in Judo in 1992 in Barcelona. Ashram is considered a strong contender for gold medals in both the team and individual gymnastic competitions as she represents Israel at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Watch Linoy compete at the 2017 Rhythmic World Championship, despite suffering a knee injury just a month earlier: