Dmitry Kroyter is not the only young Israeli athlete who excelled over the past year.

But there is something that separates the young high jumper from the rest of the country’s rising stars.

While the likes of Gili Haimovitz – a gold medalist in taekwondo at this summer’s Youth Olympics in Singapore – and swimming sensation Yakov Toumarkin deserve all the credit for their achievements in 2010, neither they nor Israel’s other top talents have had to deal with the weight of expectation of being the future of their sport.

Kroyter is still only 17 years old, but for three years now he has been looked upon as the man who will resurrect Israeli athletics in the post Alex Averbukh era.

The Siberia-born Kroyter burst onto the scene by shattering high jump age records time and again, and despite the high expectations, he continued to fulfill his promise in 2010.

After claiming the gold medal at the high jump competition at the World Youth Championships in Sudtirol, Italy last July, Kroyter’s youth career peaked this year.

He won gold at the Youth Olympics in August, while improving his career-best jump to 2.22 meters in March.

He also cleared an impressive 2.24m indoors, a 14 centimeter improvement over his best jump the previous year.

However, for all his accomplishments as a youth athlete, Kroyter’s career begins afresh in 2011.

All he has achieved to this point will be of little significance if he fails to go on and realize his potential on the senior stage.

The current state of Israeli athletics may be quite depressing, but there is some reason for optimism thanks to Kroyter, a young man who has the unenviable task of carrying the future of his sport on his slender shoulders.

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