Israeli Paralympic Swimmer Breaks World Record in Competition Originally Banned to Israelis
An Israeli Paralympic swimmer set a new world record on Tuesday at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, held in London after Malaysia was stripped of the event for refusing to let Israelis compete, according to The Jewish Chronicle.
Mark Malyar, 19, claimed a gold medal in the men’s 400m freestyle S7. The athlete, who has cerebral palsy, clocked in at 4:33.64 and was said to have “obliterated” the previous record, of 4:42.81, set in the 2012 Paralympics by gold medalist Josef Craig.
Malyar’s win in the swimming final qualifies the gold medalist to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
The 2019 World Para Swimming Championships were originally set to begin in late July in Malaysia but were rescheduled after the country, which changed governments since being awarded the competition, announced it would not allow Israeli athletes to participate.
The International Paralympics Committee stripped Malaysia of its right to host the event, with IPC President Andrew Parsons saying, “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.”
London was chosen to host the competition instead, which is being held at the London Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park in Stratford.