November 2017 – Linoy Ashram, Rhythmic Gymnastics World medalist
Linoy Ashram made Israeli history in September 2017 by winning the bronze medal in the all-around competition at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Pesaro, Italy. A day earlier, Ashram took the bronze in the ribbon event. All-around results are the total of all four events in rhythmic gymnastics – hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Ashram is the first female Israeli gymnast to medal in this category in the world championships.
With the win, Ashram smashed the glass ceiling and notched the most significant achievement of any female Israeli gymnast to date.
Ashram’s third-place finish is significant, as Olympic medals are only handed out in the all-around competition.
Ashram finished behind identical Russian twins Dina and Arina Averina in Pesaro, registering an overall score of 70.025. The Israeli recorded 18.375 in the hoop, 17.400 in the ball, 17.150 in the clubs and 17.100 in the ribbon.
“I’m really happy that I managed to prove to everyone how hard I work,” said Ashram. “It is far from a given that I managed to win a medal at the World Championships, especially my first World Championships. I’m really excited and this hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Ashram’s success came on the back of a breakthrough summer. The gymnast won two medals at the recent World Games, taking a silver in the clubs and a bronze in the hoop. She dominated the Maccabiah’s rhythmic gymnastics competitions, sweeping all five gold medals.
“This is so much fun and I want to thank everyone who has helped me,” added Ashram. “It is really fun to know that there are so many people supporting me and that only gives me more motivation to continue and work hard.” Ashram noted, “I am slowly beginning to understand what I have done, but on the other hand I have to be focused and return back to my routine to be able to work on my next goals. At the moment I am not focused on Tokyo 2020 , but I will work hard to reach it.”
“This is amazing, crazy,” said Israel Gymnastics Association chairman Razi Peled. “This is a huge achievement by a wonderful gymnast who manages to scale new heights time and again.”
Ashram matched the achievement of Neta Rivkin when she became the second Israeli to win medals in other events in the World and European Championships. Rivkin earned her medals in 2015.