Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko set a new Israeli record in the long jump on Thursday, recording a result of 6.52 meters to claim the gold medal at the 78th Israel national championships at Hadar Yosef Stadium in Tel Aviv.

Knyazyeva-Minenko, who specializes in the triple jump, finishing last year’s World Championships in sixth place, rarely takes part in the long jump. However, she decided to do so in the national championships and set a new personal best while improving the previous Israel record by six centimeters.

Sigal Gonen’s old record had stood since 1986.

Ma’ayan Shahaf won the women’s high jump in the second and final day of the championships on Thursday, clearing 1.86m.

Donald Sanford triumphed in the 200m final in a time of 21.30 seconds, completing a double after equaling his national record in the 400m on Wednesday.

Sanford, Shahaf and Knyazyeva- Minenko will all represent Israel in the European Championships in Zurich next month.

Thursday’s emotional highlight came when 44-year-old Dorit Naor retired after winning her 19th national title in the javelin (44.67m).

“This was my last time on the podium,” said Naor. “All good things must come to an end. I enjoyed every moment. Athletics is my life and now I will focus on nurturing the next generation.”

A siren in the lead up to the start of the second day of action forced the athletes, who were warming up, and the few fans on hand to run for cover.

However, both days of the championships ultimately went off without a hitch and the events went ahead as scheduled despite the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza.

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