Israeli teen swims to Euro gold

Yakov Toumarkin becomes third Israeli to win a gold medal at the European Junior Swimming Championships.

July 16, 2010 05:30
1 minute read.
ISRAEL’S YAKOV TOUMARKIN (center) and David Gamburg (right) stand on the podium in Helsinki yesterda

Swimming 311. (photo credit: Israel Swimming Association)

Yakov Toumarkin became just the third Israeli to win a gold medal at the European Junior Swimming Championships on Thursday, finishing first in the 100-meter backstroke final in Helsinki, Finland.

The 18-year-old clocked a time of 55.20 seconds, a new junior record, just 14 hundredths of a second slower than the championship record set by Hungarian Olympic medalist Laszlo Cseh in 2003.

Vered Borochovsky was the last Israeli to take a gold medal at the championships; 10 years ago, winning the 50m butterfly, with Eithan Urbach scaling the top of the podium after claiming the 200m backstroke in 1994.

For the Israeli team, Thursday was a historic day for more than one reason after David Gamburg finished third behind Toumarkin in the 100m backstroke final.

Never before have two Israelis stood on the podium simultaneously at this event.

The 17-year-old Gamburg touched the wall in 56.58s, taking the bronze medal by one hundredth of a second.

Toumarkin will be looking to claim another medal on Friday after advancing on Thursday to the final of the 200m Individual Medley from third position with a time of 2:03.32m.

Also on Thursday, Israeli 15-year-old Shir Wasserman finished eighth in the 200m butterfly with a new personal best of 2:18.15m.

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