Mark Malyar, Ami Dadaon and Moran Samuel went into the Tokyo Paralympics with expectations of medaling, and they did not disappoint.
Malyar, 21, won a gold medal in a 200-meter mixed swim on Friday, finishing in a record time of 2.29:01 minutes for his disability class.
Malyar — who was born with cerebral palsy as was his twin brother, Paralympic swimmer Ariel — already holds the titles of European Champion and World Champion.
Today (August 29), he broke another record, stopping the clock at 4.41:82 in the 400-meter qualifier. And then he won another gold,
winning the men’s 400-meter freestyle competition.
This is the third gold medal for Israel in Tokyo so far. On August 25, swimmer Iyad Shalabi finished first in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, becoming the first Muslim Israeli to win a Paralympic or Olympic medal.
Dadaon, 20, took the silver medal in the 150-meter individual medley competition on Saturday. Though this is Dadaon’s first Paralympics, he holds two world records and won a gold and a silver medal in the 2021 European Championships. Like the Malyars, he is a twin who was born premature with cerebral palsy.
All three of these swimming medalists train at Ilan Rehabilitation and Sports Center in Haifa under coach Yaacov Beininson.
Rower Moran Samuel, 39, won a silver medal in the finals of the Women’s single 2000-meter event today. This is her third Paralympics Games; she won a bronze medal in Rio in 2016.
Samuel, who trains with Paula Grizetti at the Daniel Rowing Center in Tel Aviv, was a member of Israel’s national women’s basketball team before suffering a sudden spinal stroke at age 24 that caused partial paralysis. She also is a pediatric physical therapist.