Israeli rower Moran Samuel wins bronze in Rio 2016 Paralympics

After three days of competition, Israel has its first medal of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rower Moran Samuel managed to place third in the women’s 1,000 meter race and won the bronze medal.

Samuel, 34, was marked as one of the Israeli delegation’s strongest candidates to medal even before the Games began, having won a world championship in 2015. She crossed the finish line with a time of 5:17.46 minutes, only surpassed by China’s Lili Wang, who won silver, and Great Britain’s Rachel Morris, who took gold.

Samuel was born in Karmiel and played basketball in her youth. In 2006, a congenital blood vessel defect in her spine caused her to become paralyzed in her lower body. After a recovery period, she completed her academic studies, and became involved in athletics activities for the disabled.

Samuel began training in single-person rowing in 2010, managing to reach the London Paralympics in 2012, where she finished fifth. In 2014, Samuel came in second at the world championships, winning first place a year later.

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