Israeli gymnast takes silver at World Championships

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Linoy Ashram for her “outstanding achievement” on the international stage.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Nineteen-year-old Linoy Ashram won her second medal at the World Championship of Rhythmic Gymnastics in the individual all-around competition on Friday. She came in second place to Russian Dina Averina in Bulgaria, after taking silver in the individual competition for hoops and bronze in the ribbon event earlier in the week.

Last year at the Worlds, she took bronze in the all-around, a mere month after suffering a serious knee injury. She also collected a bronze at the time in the individual ribbon event.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Ashram Saturday night to wish her well.

“Linoy, congratulations! This is an outstanding achievement. You have made all of us proud of you,” he told her. “You do this with amazing flexibility and great personal ability. This lifts all of our national pride. May you have great success. … Congratulations to you.”

After winning the first silver in Sofia, the young star showed gratitude to her fans in a video released by Israel’s Olympic Committee, wishing the people of Israel a happy New Year.

“A huge thank you to all those who came,” she said. “It really helped me a lot.”

Ashram is on a winning streak that will hopefully lead her to success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She set a new world record in the clubs routine at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in August, and then took home the top prize in the all-around, where gymnasts compete in four different disciplines: ball, clubs, hoop and ribbon.

She began training at age six and a half, when the teacher of her after-school class in artistic gymnastics told her parents that she had a bright future.

In a video released by the Foreign Ministry, Ashram reflected on the sacrifices she has made to excel in her sport.

“I had to give up school, friends, trips with my family, vacations,” she noted, “but it’s worth losing everything else, because I see that on the other hand, I do gain.”

Her eyes are set on Olympic glory in two years’ time.

“I’ll give it my all and do my best and just hope to succeed.”