Eighteen-year-old Olympic swimmer Anastasiya Gorbenko won Israel’s first-ever gold medals in the FINA World Swimming Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi, finishing the women’s 50-meter breaststroke in 29.34 seconds, and winning in the 100-meter medley final.

It’s been a long time since an Israeli won any medal at the world championships: Michael Halika won a bronze medal in 2000 and Vered Borochovski won a bronze in 2002.

Gorbenko, who last summer became the first female Israeli swimmer to advance to an Olympic final, won two gold medals in October at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Germany, finishing the women’s 100-meter breaststroke in 01:04.44 and the 100-meter medley in 57:90.

In October, Gorbenko came first in the 2021 European Short Course Swimming Championships, in the 200-meter individual medley.

In her victory speech in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Gorbenko said that her achievement comes on the heels of the normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.