Another of the promising new generation of Israeli swimmers, the 20-year-old
Kopelev, booked his place in London at the very last moment.
after becoming the first Israeli swimmer to claim a gold medal at the European
Championships, Kopelev clocked a time of 54.38 seconds in the 100-meter
backstroke in Slovenia, a mere two hundredths of a second faster than the
Olympic Qualifying Time.
Despite making history by scaling the top of the
podium in Debrecen, Hungary, Kopelev seemed set to miss out on representing
Israel at the London Games as his gold medal came in the 50m backstroke which is
not an Olympic event.
However, he proved his mettle by making the most of
his final opportunity to reach London and will now have his sights set on making
an Olympic semifinal.
“I just needed this to complete the crazy year I
had and this is a realization of a dream,” Kopelev said after qualifying for
“In one week I won an historic gold medal at the European
Championships and qualified for the Olympics. I’m certain I’ll do well there as