(TIMES OF ISRAEL) – Israeli windsurfers claimed the gold and silver medals in the women’s iQFoil category at the 2023 Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands last Saturday, in a significant achievement for the Israeli national team.
Shahar Tibi, 25, took first place at the event hosted by The Hague, winning Israel’s first world title at the contest in a decade.
Katy Spychakov, 24, came second.
“I can’t be happier about what we achieved,” Tibi said.
“This was a physically hard day and week. I wasn’t able to get to the podium last year and this time is my first time [to achieve that], so I’m very excited.
“Thanks to everyone at home, to the sailing association, to the national team, to my parents and family,” she said.
Tibi dedicated her win to Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits, who claimed four world titles in 2003, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Korzits has polycythemia vera, a rare blood cancer.
“Ten years have passed since she won her fourth, and last, world title and I was there with her, as a 15-year-old,” Tibi said.
“Korzits is fighting for her life and inspired me and many others,” Tibi said.
The chair of Israel Sailing Association, Shai Buber, said, “These are moments of glory for Israeli sailing.
“Since Lee Korzits, there hasn’t been an Israeli [windsurfing] world champion, and today we have a champion and a runner-up.
“It is inspiring to see Shahar Tibi reach this status and good on her.”
Tibi represented Israel in the Tokyo Olympics, where she placed eighth overall and Spychakov placed sixth.
Also at the worlds at The Hague last weekend, Israel’s Yoav Omar earned bronze in the men’s quarter-final.