The start of the 2012 London Olympics is still 592 days away, but Israel’s hopefuls can now begin preparing in earnest after the Olympic Committee of Israel announced on Sunday the criteria the country’s best will have to meet to participate in the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

“We are going to the Games to win and in order to win you have to set tough criteria,” OCI General Secretary Efraim Zinger said.

“We have three targets: One, to remain among the medal winning nations; two, to have a female medal winner for the first time since 1992; and three, to win a medal in a sporting event we have yet to win at.”

Most Israeli athletes will need to finish in high positions in European or World championships to book a place in London and will have 18 months to do so, beginning on January 1.

In athletics, for example, the sportsmen will need to reach the semifinals of the Worlds or record an A-level result in a specified event.


Israel’s swimmers will also need to meet a similar criterion, while judoka Arik Ze’evi, for instance, will need to be ranked among the world’s top-20 to reach the Olympics.

The OCI also announced its athlete of the year winner on Sunday, with windsurfer Nimrod Mashiah taking the award and the NIS 40,000 which comes with it.

National taekwondo coach Yehiel Sharabi was named as coach of the year, with swimmer Yakov Toumarkin being chosen as the youth sportsman of 2010 and windsurfer Ofir Halevi winning the youth sportswoman award.

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