Mark Malyar claimed Israel’s first medal at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships – and set a new world-record in the process.
Winning gold in the 400m freestyle S7, the athlete was pictured biting the medal on the podium as hatikvah played.
He shattered the world record with his time of 4:33.64, over five seconds inside the previous best mark set in 2013.
The event is being held in London this week after Malaysia was stripped of hosting rights for refusing to allow Israelis to enter the country to compete.
After being stripped of hosting it, Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “When a host country excludes athletes from a particular nation, for political reasons, then we have absolutely no alternative but to look for a new Championships host.”
Speaking at the Oxford Union earlier this year, the country’s controversial prime minister Dr Mahatir Mohamed, who has routinely indulged in antisemitic tropes, restated his right to bar visitors from countries whose policies he disagreed with.
He has also previously described Jews as “hook-nosed” and suggested four million, rather than six million Jews, were killed in the Shoah.
The Mighty Mark! ????
— Para Swimming (@Para_swimming) September 10, 2019