Abigail Klein Leichman
August 27, 2023

On August 25, Israel won its first-ever group all-around gold medal in a World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships event, cementing its place at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Israeli team of Shani Bakanov, Eliza Banchuk, Adar Friedmann, Romi Paritzki, Ofir Shaham and Diana Svertsov earned scores of 38.150 in five hoops, and 32.650 in three ribbons and two balls. The total was enough to edge out the People’s Republic of China for the gold.

The 40th annual International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, held in Valencia, Spain, marked the second time Israel has medaled as a group in the event. Last year, the team won a silver medal at the championships held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The victorious team released a statement saying the athletes were “elated that we were able to win this medal, and get to chant the Israeli national anthem on the podium. It’s the best feeling any athlete could have.”

Rhythmic gymnastics has long been a strong sport for Israel. In the 2020 Olympics held in 2021 in Tokyo, Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram won a gold medal, becoming the first female Israeli ever to accomplish this feat. In 2022, Daria Atamanov won a European Championships all-around gold in Tel Aviv.

More on rhythmic gymnastics