15-year-old Israeli swimmer smashes national record, wins gold at Youth Olympics

Anastasia Gorbenko set a new national record as she won the 200 meter individual medley event in the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Fifteen-year-old Anastasia Gorbenko made history twice over on Day 1 of the Summer Youth Olympic Games  Sunday when she won the 200 individual medley swim in a time of 2:12.88, becoming the first Israeli swimmer to win a contest in the games and breaking the Israeli record for the event set by Amit Ivry in the 2012 London Olympics.

The individual medley event consists of swimming two laps – 50 meters – each of the butterfly stroke, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle (crawl). According to the website Swimswam, her time was the sixth fastest in this event in 2018. Just 15 years old, Gorbenko is the youngest swimmer of the six.

The promising athlete still has several more races to qualify for: the 200m backstroke, 200m breaststroke and 100m  freestyle.

Gorbenko came to Buenos Aires fresh off the European Junior Championships in July. She only managed to reach  the semi-final round with a time of 2:15.49 in the same 200m event for which she just won gold. However, she narrowly missed a medal in the 4x100m freestyle mixed competition, finishing fourth. She was also part of the team that came in a very reputable 7th and 8th place respectively in the finals of the 4x200m freestyle and 4×100 freestyle mixed races.

This is the third time the Youth Olympic Games have been held. More modest than the Olympic Games to allow for smaller cities to play host, its budget ranges in the tens of millions v. the billion-plus that the senior event demands. It also features cultural exchange and educational programs geared to the ages of the competitors – 14 to 18 years old.

Two-hundred and six countries are participating in at least one of the 32 sports featured from October 6 to 18. Israel has sent 19 athletes to compete in events such as judo, gymnastics, cycling and track and field.