Abigail Klein Leichman

Israel is set to send its largest-ever swimming delegation to the Paris Olympics, following outstanding results at the 2024 European Aquatics Championships, June 10-23 in Belgrade, Serbia.

At the Olympic-qualifying competition, the Israeli women’s 4×200 freestyle relay team earned the country’s first-ever relay medal, capturing the gold and breaking the team’s previous record, set at the 2023 World Championships, by more than seven seconds.

Israel’s final time of 7:51.83 assured the four-woman team a berth in the Paris Olympic Games, which start July 26. The lineup includes Anastasia Gorbenko, Daria Golovaty, Ayla Spitz and Lea Polonsky.

Gorbenko, 20, shaved more than a second off her previous best of 1:58.18 in the relay.

The women also won gold medals in the 4×100 medley, while Gorbenko took gold in the 400m and 200m individual medley, winning the fifth gold medal of her career at the European championships and Israel’s 19th in total.

In February, Gorbenko won a silver medal at the Doha World Championships in the women’s 400m individual medley. In Paris, she will swim in the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 4x200m freestyle relay, and mixed 4x100m medley relay.

Israeli swimming coach Eyal Elam said he was “happy and satisfied” with the results of the European Championships, at which Israeli competitors altogether won nine medals – four gold, two silver and three bronze.

The Israel Swimming Association announced that its full Olympics delegation will consist of 20 athletes: 17 male and female swimmers, two artistic swimmers and one open-water swimmer.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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