Imri Ganiel came out of nowhere to advance to the 100-meter breaststroke
European Swimming Championships final on Monday, smashing the Israeli record and
making his case for an Olympic berth.
The 20-year-old was expected to set
a personal best and gain experience in Debrecen, Hungary. But instead, he
improved the national record by over a second in the morning heats, touching the
wall after 1:00.96 minutes, before clocking a time five hundredths of a second
slower in the evening semis to progress to Tuesday’s final from fourth place
Ganiel’s main target on Tuesday will be to improve his new
record by 17 hundredths and set the Olympic Qualifying Time required by the
Olympic Committee of Israel to be part of the delegation to the London
However, even should he fail to do so, Ganiel’s performance on
Monday could see him go to London with a special exemption from the OCI as one
of the delegation’s up-and-coming athletes.
Fellow 20-year-old Yakov
Toumarkin also advanced to a final in the first day of the championships and
will be gunning for a medal in the 100m backstroke on Tuesday.
who has already qualified for London, equaled the national record with 54.22
seconds in the heats and progressed to the final from third place overall after
clocking 54.26s in the semis.
Also Monday, Amit Ivri advanced to the 50m
butterfly final from eighth position with a time of 26.68s in the
There was also some disappointing news for the Israeli team on
Monday, with Guy Barnea missing out on the Olympic criteria by just four
hundredths of a second after finishing the 100m back in 54.44s.
only clocked 54.95s in the evening semis and will not compete in the final after
finishing 10th overall.