IllustrationMiriam Alster/Flash 90

Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko was booed by the crowd in Qatar on Sunday after winning a silver medal at the Doha World Championships, but was unperturbed by the hostile reception.

“I'm so happy to be here and represent my country in this hard time, being here with the Israeli flag means a lot to me and to my country,” Gorbenko told the floor presenter as a chorus of boos rained down from the terraces, drowning out her post-race interview, according to i24NEWS.

Gorbenko won silver in the women's 400 meters individual medley.

The jeers continued as Gorbenko left the pool, and continued at the medal ceremony.

The presence of Israeli swimmers at the championships has drawn criticism from some Doha media outlets and pro-Palestinian Arab groups due to Israel's military campaign in Gaza in response to Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel.

Qatar has been working to broker a hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas, even though it a key backer of Hamas and does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.

Qatar permitted Israelis to enter the country when it hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2022, but also urged Israelis to downplay their identity while there.