President Isaac Herzog congratulated the rhythmic gymnastics team Saturday evening after they won the world championship.
"Champions! Great honor to the Israeli rhythmic gymnastics team that made history and won the gold medal at the World Championships in Valencia,” Herzog wrote on Twitter. “Well done to the great gymnasts and coach Ayelet Sussman - you bring great pride to the State of Israel!"
אלופות! כבוד גדול לנבחרת ישראל בהתעמלות אמנותית שעשתה היסטוריה וזכתה במדליית הזהב באליפות העולם בוולנסיה. יישר כוח למתעמלות הנהדרות ולמאמנת איילת זוסמן - אתן גאווה גדולה למדינת ישראל! pic.twitter.com/SXtg0eJxbh— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) August 26, 2023
The president also spoke directly with the coach of the Israeli team in rhythmic gymnastics Ayelet Sussman.
"Ayelet, how do you feel?" Herzog asked. "Simply an amazing achievement!"
Ayelet thanked the president and added, "We feel great. The excitement here is great. Yesterday we raised the Israeli flag on the podium in first place, and today in third place, especially exciting."
"This is an extraordinary achievement," the president replied. "Simply amazing. On behalf of the entire State of Israel, you deserve a big hug for a historic achievement. Good luck."
The team finished with a weighted score of 70.800 points and took the gold in the prestigious competition, ahead of powers such as China, which won the silver medal, and Spain, which took the bronze.
The team, which includes Shani Bekanov, Hadar Friedman, Romi Pritsky, Ofir Shaham, Diana Svartsov, and Liza Banchuk, achieved a particularly high score in the five-hoop exercise (38.150 points), and even earlier received a score of 32.650 in the combined qualifying exercise.
At the last European Championship, the Israeli team finished as runner-up and also won the silver medal at the World Championship last year.
Russia and Belarus excluded
Russia and Belarus, which are considered superpowers in the field, did not take part in these championships, due to sanctions imposed following the war in Ukraine.