Israel's Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko.
(photo credit: ISRAEL ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION)
Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko became the first Israeli woman to win a medal at the European Indoor Championships in Prague on Sunday, finishing the triple jump final in third place with a new national record of 14.49 meters.
Knyazyeva-Minenko, who received citizenship in 2013 after marrying Israeli athlete Anatoly Minenko, improved the record she set a day earlier in the qualifiers by nine centimeters with her first jump of the day. The 25-year-old Ukraine native led the competition until Russian Yekaterina Koneva jumped 14.69m, with Bulgarian Gabriela Petrova ultimately finishing in second place after leaping 14.52m.
Knyazyeva-Minenko, who missed much of last year through injury after finishing in sixth place at the World Championships in 2013 in her first major event as an Israeli, followed in the footsteps of Alex Averbukh, who was the last Israeli to win a medal at the European Indoor Championships, claiming the gold in the pole vault final in 2000.
“I’m delighted,” said Knyazyeva-Minenko, “This is an historic day for Israeli athletics. I will celebrate for a day or two and will then continue to prepare for the next mission.”
Knyazyeva-Minenko’s next target will be the World Championships in Beijing, China in August.