Hanna's silver is historic for Israel


Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko made history this week by becoming the first Israeli femaleathlete ever to win a silver medal at the World Championships.

Knyazyeva-Minenko took the triple jump silver in Beijing on Monday to become only the second Israeli to win a silver at the event, after pole-vaulter Aleksandr Averbukh 14 years ago.

Defending champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia took gold with a jump of 14.90m, while Knyazyeva-Minenko's mark of 14.78m beat
Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova by a
single centimetre.

Despite sustaining several injuries in the past few years and undergoing surgery, Knyazyeva-Minenko's jump was a personal best and an Israeli
national record. She entered the championships in excellent form after jumping 14.61m in Prague in June to improve her own national record.

However, she peaked at the perfect time on Monday and will be among Israel's best hopes at next summer's Rio Olympics.

I cannot describe just how emotional this is...

She said: "In the warm-up my leg hurt me a little and I would like to thank the delegation's doctor and the rest of the team, because without that support I couldn't have brought home a medal.

"Everyone in Israel was watching this event and hoping for the first female medal at the World Championships. I cannot describe how emotional this moment is."

Knyazyeva-Minenko, 25, made her
decision to change her nationality for love, rather than to boost her athletic ambitions. She emigrated to Israel from the Ukraine two years ago in order to marry Israeli Anatoly Minenko, a former decathlete she had met at a training camp in Yalta. Minenko himself had moved to Israel from Khazakhstan at the age of 10.

While representing the Ukraine, Knyazyeva-Minenko came fourth in the London Olympics in 2012, while the following year, in Israel's
colours, she managed sixth place in the last World Championships.

Earlier this year she took bronze in the European indoor championships.

Knyazyeva-Minenko told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, when he
telephoned to congratulate her, of her determination to one day win gold and stand on top of the rostrum.

"I want to hear the Hatikva -and we will get there soon," she told him.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive