(JTA) — Neta Rivkin with a bronze became the first Israeli to win a medal in international rhythmic gymnastics competition.
Rivkin, 20, won a historic medal for Israel in rhythmic gymnastics at the World Championships in Montepelier, France. Her bronze medal, which she won for her Spanish-style hoop routine during the apparatus finals, was the first ever won by an Israeli rhythmic gymnast at a worlds or Olympics. She also placed sixth in the ball finals.
The gymnast, who ranked just behind the current Olympic champion Evgenia Kanaeva and Daria Kondoakova, both of Russia, was obviously elated.
"There are no words to describe what I’m feeling now," Rivkin said after the medal ceremony. “Words cannot describe my joy.”
Rivkin is attempting to gain a spot representing Israel in the 2012 Olympics in London. She already competed at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Rivkin’s is only the second medal for Israeli gymnastics, both artistic and rhythmic, in world championship competition. In 2009, Alexander Shatilov won the bronze medal on the floor exercise.
This is Rivkin’s hoop routine in the qualification round of competition.