Toumarkin at 2012 meet
Toumarkin at 2012 meetReuters

Israeli swimmer Yakov Toumarkin won a silver medal in the 200 meter backstroke on Wednesday night at the 18th European Short Course Swimming Championships. 

The medal was all the sweeter as Israel was hosting the 2015 championships - at the Wingate Institute just south of Netanya. 

The yearly meet features swimmers from across Europe compete in 38 events in a short course (25 meter) pool. 

The Russian-born Toumarkin, who first broke the Israeli 200 meter backstroke record in 2010, came in second on Wednesday with a new personal record time of 1:49:84. 

He was defeated by Polish competitor Radoslaw Kawecki. 

"I still can't digest it. I was in total shock," Toumarkin told Channel 2. "I took the first medal and broke the barrier of a minute and fifty seconds. The crowd gave me the push I needed."