Israeli Women Crush 4×200 Free Relay National Record En Route to First-Ever Euro Relay Title


Day 1 Finals Heat Sheet

The Israeli women’s 4×200 freestyle relay team obliterated its national record by more than seven seconds with a winning time of 7:51.83 at the 2024 European Championships, capturing the country’s first-ever relay medal of any color at the meet.

Rising star Anastasia Gorbenko led off with a personal-best 1:56.74, taking down the Israeli 200 free record of 1:57.87 that Andrea Murez posted in 2021. Gorbenko dropped more than a second off her previous-best 1:58.18 from the 2023 World Championships.

Daria Golovaty (1:57.94) and Ayla Spitz (1:59.07) handled the middle legs of the relay, giving Israel a three-second advantage heading into the final leg. Lea Polonsky clocked a 1:58.08 split to secure the victory, holding off a ferocious 1:55.87 anchor by 18-year-old Hungarian Nikolett Padar. Padar had already qualified 2nd for the 100 free final (54.17) earlier in the session.

Israel’s final time of 7:51.83 demolished its old national record of 7:59.02 from the 2023 World Championships, which qualified the country for the Paris Olympics next month. Spitz was the new addition to the lineup this year, replacing Murez after wrapping up her NCAA career at Northwestern in March.

Hungary earned the runner-up finish in 7:52.92 while Turkey took bronze in 8:01.58, less than a tenth ahead of Germany (8:01.67).


  • World Record: 7:37.50 – Australia (2023)
  • European Record: 7:45.51 – Great Britain (2009)
  • Championship Record: 7:50.53 – Italy (2014)

Top 8:

  1. Israel – 7:51.83
  2. Hungary – 7:52.92
  3. Turkey – 8:01.58
  4. Germany – 8:01.67
  5. Slovenia – 8:06.93
  6. Austria – 8:12.13
  7. Slovakia – 8:20.03
  8. Armenia – 8:53.63

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1 month ago

These are some solid times from Israel. Have they always been decent at swimming?

Swim Nerd

been on the rise as of late due to the additions of coaches such as Tom Rushton and David Marsh in advisory positions or just as flat out coaches. in addition, many top Israeli swimmers come to train in the states in the college system. Think swimmers like Tomer Frankel, Gal Cohen Groumi, and Ron Polonsky for the men. Of this quartet, Golovaty is committed to louisville, Spitz did time in northwestern and Cal, Polonsky is at Cal, and Gorbenko as spent time training in the states.

1 month ago

don’t yell at me please but isn’t israel not in europe?

Reply to  owen
1 month ago

it’s one of those countries that’s not geographically in Europe that hate associating with Asia or Africa kinda like Georgia

Reply to  owen
1 month ago

It is not technically. The long story short is that they kept getting kicked out of Asian events, or having athletes refuse to compete against them, so the easiest solution was to just put them in Europe. This happened back in the 70s. The Asian Football Confederation kicked them out in 1974.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Due to political or racial reasons?


When it comes to Israel I’m not sure there’s really a clear separation between the two.


Anti-Semitism – bottom line


For entirely different reasons Australia compete as part of the Asian Football Confederation and were Asian champions in 2015.

Reply to  owen
29 days ago

Israel is in Asia, but from the 1970’s the anti-israeli Arab countries have put political pressure to remove Israel from all sports in their region.

1 month ago

Updating my potential finalists for women 4×200
Australia, USA, China, GBR, Canada, Brazil, Israel, Hungary. NZ and NED outside chance

Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

and mens 4 x 200m


Reply to  Boz
1 month ago

France or Brazil, leaning towards France

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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