Israel’s storied rhythmic gymnast has increased her medal collection after winning a silver and a bronze at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Azerbaijan this week. Linoy Ashram earned a silver medal on Tuesday in the hoop event while her teammate Nicol Zelikman finished fourth. This was Ashram’s fourth world championship medal on an individual apparatus. The 20-year-old Ashram won bronze in the ball competition. The Israeli has won medals in all of the world championships since the Rio Olympics in 2016 and is hoping to earn medals at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. “I am proud to represent Israel here and of course, going to [the] Tokyo 2020 Olympics would be a dream,” Linoy said. “It’s a dream of every athlete.” Another Israeli athlete won gold last month in the World Para Swimming Allianz Championships in London, assuring himself a spot in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next summer. Mark (Arik) Malyar, 19, who has cerebral palsy, came in first in the 400-meter freestyle swim and won a silver medal in another race. His teammate Ami Dadaon, who won a silver and bronze in London championships, will be joining him in Tokyo. The Israelis were lucky to have competed at all in this event. The 2019 World Para Swimming Allianz Championships – which has as its premise inclusion especially of all athletes with disabilities – were originally slated to take place in Malaysia, but the country announced a ban on Israeli athletes. Competition officials relocated the competition to London so the Israelis could join. As we’ve reported, Islamic nations traditionally try to ban Israeli teams from competing in international events that they host, however the tide has turned a bit in the past few years with some Arab countries welcoming Israeli athletes.
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