Misha Zilberman will become the first Israeli ever to participate in the
badminton competitions at the Olympic Games after reaching a world ranking of
No. 64 in May following his progress to the final of the Tahiti International
The 23-year-old will be one of 40 singles players to compete
in London and will be adding another illustrious chapter to his family’s
Misha’s father Michael met his wife Svetlana when he coached her
during her own badminton career.
Svetlana is still a top level senior
badminton player, with her biggest accomplishment coming in the 1986 European
Championships when she won a bronze medal for the USSR.
Misha used to
join his mother at practice as a baby and from the age of 13 he would wake up at
5:30 a.m. every day to get in a onehour practice session before
The hard work paid off and Zilberman’s main target in London will
be to gain valuable experience ahead of Rio 2016.
The event begins with a
preliminary stage in which the competitors are divided into groups and each
player plays everyone else in their group.
Zilberman is not expected to
be among the 16 group winners who will qualify for the knockout stage of the
competition, but he will be hoping to at least win one match ahead of bigger and
better things in the future.