JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli tennis player Noam Gershony won a gold medal in men’s singles at the London Paralympics games.
Gershony, a former Israeli Air Force pilot who was injured in a crash during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, defeated American David Wagner on Saturday to win Israel’s first gold medal at the Games and the first for the country since 2004. It was Israel’s seventh medal at the 2012 Games.
Gershony began playing tennis less than two years ago, Ynet reported.
"I was very excited about your victory," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Gershony in a phone call on Saturday night. "The State of Israel embraces you for your great achievement. You symbolize the victory of the human spirit over the difficulties created by the reality in which we live. This is gold for you and the country."
Last week, Gershony and Shraga Weinberg took the bronze medal in doubles tennis. The two played each other in the medal’s matches in men’s singles.
Also Saturday, Israeli swimmer Inbal Pezaro took the bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle, her third bronze at the Games.