Swimmer Yakov Toumarkin provided Israeli sports with a moment of history in an
otherwise disappointing day of setbacks at the London Olympics on
The 20-year-old recorded the best ever result for an Israeli
swimmer at the Olympics by ending the 200- meter backstroke final in seventh
place in a time of 1:57.62 minutes.
The previous best belonged to Eitan
Urbach, who ended the 100m back at the 2000 Sydney Games in eighth
“I’m really happy with my final position, but I’m slightly
disappointed that I didn’t manage to break my Israeli record,” said the
ambitious Toumarkin, who became just the second Israeli to progress to an
Olympic final in an individual swimming event on Wednesday.
nothing to lose and I managed to improve my position after qualifying as the
eighth fastest swimmer.
This is just the beginning and I want to continue
However, while Toumarkin registered the highlight of his
fledgling career on Thursday, the Olympic careers of veterans Arik Ze’evi and
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich came to a disappointing end.
Ze’evi was knocked
out of the under-100kg competition after just 43 seconds of his first round
fight against Dimitri Peters (see side box), while Ram and Erlich put on an
admirable performance, only to fall 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10) to No. 1 seeds, Bob and
Mike Bryan in the doubles quarterfinals.
Ram and Erlich squandered three
set points in the 11th game of the first set before being edged in the
The Israelis saved four break points in the sixth game of the
second set to keep their hopes alive, but failed to convert any of their two set
points in the breaker and Erlich gifted the Americans the victory with a double
fault on their third match point.
“This is one of the most disappointing
and painful defeats of our career,” Ram said. “We played well, had our chances,
but failed to make the most of them. I usually recover well from defeats, but
this one will be tough to overcome.”
Despite being in the twilight of
their careers, Ram wouldn’t rule out taking part in the 2016 Rio Games in what
would be his and Erlich’s fourth Olympics.
“There is definitely a chance
we will be in Rio,” he said. “We need to maintain a high ranking and I believe
that is possible. However, we are taking it one year at a time.”
Weymouth, Lee Korzits dropped one place to third overall in the women’s
Korzits, the reigning world champion, ended the
first race of the day, and fifth of the competition, in second place, but could
only manage 11th position in the subsequent outing.
Korzits has a total
of four more races to come on Saturday and Sunday before Tuesday’s medal race,
with the worst score from the first 10 races not to be included in the overall
Shahar Zubari remained in 10th place overall in the men’s
windsurfing, but he effectively lost any hope of winning a medal after being
disqualified in the first race and ending the second in 12th
Korzits and Zubari will enjoy a rest day on Friday before
taking part in their respected Races 7 and 8 on Saturday.
Kliger and Sela
began the men’s 470 Class sailing competition in a frustrating manner on
Thursday, finishing the day’s two races in 19th and 11th, respectively, to end
the opening day in 14th place overall.
Kliger and Sela will be looking to
get back on track over the next couple of days, with four more races set to take
Gil Cohen and Vered Bouskila begin their participation in the 2012
Games on Friday when the women’s 470 Class competition gets
Nufer Edelman will contest four more races in the women’s Laser
Radial over the next couple of days to complete her competition.
Friday, shooter Sergey Richter takes part in the 50m rifle prone, while Israel’s
two representatives in the track and field events compete on
Donald Sanford will run in the first round of the 400m, aiming
to progress to the semis, with Jillian Schwartz to jump in the pole vault