Israeli Paralympic kayaker Pascale Berkowitz won a silver medal at the International Canoe Federation’s Kayak World Cup in Szeged, Hungary, last weekend.
She finished the 200 meters at 56.466 seconds, in second place behind Andrea Nadezda of Russia.
“I broke my personal record. I had an amazing competition, and it’s very hard, but since I started training in June 2016 with Coach Barak Lopin at the Tel Aviv club [Daniel Rowing Center], my technique has improved and I’m starting to see that I’m reaching the level of the world’s best,” she said. “I feel that 2017 will be very successful for me. I’m on my way to my fourth Olympics in Tokyo!”
Berkowitz, who turns 50 in August, lost her legs at age 17 after falling under the wheels of a moving train in her native Paris. As soon as she was released from the hospital she immigrated to Israel, volunteered for the IDF and was the first female soldier in a wheelchair. She became a Paralympic athlete in handcycling before switching to kayaking.
She played in the Paralympic Games in Beijing, London and Rio.
Another Israeli Paralympic kayakist, Ron Halevy, finished fourth in the World Cup finals and set a personal record of 44.321 seconds.