Israel’s hopes for Olympic gold, silver, or bronze are riding high, as 90 athletes compete in this year’s Summer Games in Tokyo. The delegation is the largest Israel’s ever sent to the games, and forecasters predict the nation may take home 5 to 7 medals from their time in competition in Japan. This would be historic, given that Israel has only medaled nine times in total, with two being the most won in any single Olympics.
Israeli athletes are competing in a wide array of events: judo, archery, artistic gymnastics, Taekwondo, badminton, swimming, surfing, shooting, road cycling, baseball, and a handful of other fields.
19-year-old Avishag Semberg snagged the first medal for Israel in the Tokyo Olympics, winning the bronze in women’s Taekwondo (-49 KG category). This was Israel’s first medal ever in the field of Taekwondo. She returned to Israel Tuesday to a hero’s welcome at Ben Gurion International Airport and in her hometown of Gedera.
“An amazing, crazy feeling. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life, many sleepless nights—my longest sleep was now on the plane—but I have no problem not sleeping to reach these moments.”
Semberg has now set her sights on winning gold in Paris in 2024.