Israeli athletes are returning home with hands full from the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, after winning 12 medals in judo, gymnastics, sharp shooting and wrestling.
The inaugural European Games for athletes representing the National Olympic Committees of Europe featured more than 6,000 athletes from 50 nations competing in 20 sports.
Israeli judokas fared very well in the Baku competition, winning gold, silver and bronze medals. Sagi Muki, 23, won gold with an ippon in the up to 73-kilogram weight category. Judoka Uri Sasson, 24, won silver in the over 100 category. Yarden Gerbi, 25, won a bronze medal in her -63-kg category.
Swimmers Ziv Kalontarov, 18, and Marc Hinnawi, also 18, made a splash in their events. Kalontarov won gold after finishing the men’s 50-meter freestyle in 22.16 seconds – a new Israeli record — and qualifying him for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Hinnawi secured bronze in the men’s 1500 meter freestyle.
The country’s gymnasts are bringing home four medals.
The gymnastics team won two silver medals and one bronze in group events, while Olympian Neta Rivkin added another bronze to the haul for the Solo Hoops event.
Also on the podium were Sergey Rikhter (bronze, Men’s 10 meter air-rifle) and Ilana Kratysh (silver, Women’s Freestyle Wrestling).