Israeli takes home Tokyo Olympics’ first medal

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(Arutz Sheva Staff)

Avishag Semberg, 19, took home the first medal of the Tokyo Olympics in a victory over Turkey’s Rukiye Yıldırım.

Semberg is Israel’s youngest-ever medalist, as well as the first-ever Israeli to win an Olympic taekwondo match – or to represent Israel in the sport.

She won the bronze medal in the match for the under-49 kilogram weight class, after she beat Yıldırım 27-22.

“I’m really happy I recovered myself thanks to my coach,” she said. “I have an Olympic medal at the age of 19. It’s a dream come true. My coach always told me I have a lot of personality, that I fight even when I don’t want to. I hope that this isn’t Israel’s last medal.”

“I hope that everyone who dreams big reaches it. You need to dream big and really want it,” she added, noting that, “there needs to be a supportive environment.”

Following her win, she embraced former judoka Yael Arad, who won Israel’s first-ever Olympic medal.

Arad won the bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Semberg’s medal is Israel’s tenth overall. Though the Tokyo Olympics are her first Olympic games, she has won the bronze medal at three international youth competitions as well.