Nevo Israel’s best bet for medal

By
August 9, 2010 06:04

Swimmer carries Israel’s hopes of ending a decade-long medal drought.

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Israeli swimmer Gal Nevo.

Gal Nevo 311. (photo credit: Israel Swimming Ass.)

Gal Nevo carries Israel’s hopes of ending a decade-long medal drought in the European Swimming Championships in Budapest over the next seven days.

Israel has sent 12 swimmers to Hungary, but only Nevo has a reasonable chance of reaching the podium and following in the footsteps of Eitan Urbach, Miki Halika and Yoav Gath – the last Israeli to take a medal at this event, winning a bronze in the 200- meter backstroke 10 years ago.

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“I hope our swimmers make a lot of finals and personally I really want to win a medal,” said Nevo, the Individual Medley expert, who became the sixth Israeli to claim a medal at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in December, finishing third in the 400-meter IM final.

“I’ve already scaled the podium at the short course championships and I hope to emulate this at the long course event. There are a lot of expectations from me, but I like it that way.”

Guy Barnea, the backstroke specialist, believes he also has a chance of winning a medal.

“There will be a lot of surprises in these championships and I’m hoping to reach some finals and possibly even claim a medal,” Barnea said.

Alon Mandel and Amit Ivri are two other notable Israeli swimmers competing in Budapest and national team coach Leonid Kaufman is hoping for good performances all around.

“We can expect a lot of good things from our delegation,” Kaufman said. “In a certain situation Nevo can win a medal, but he will have to swim very fast and his rivals slightly slower.

“These are the first championships without the full-body swimsuits so it is difficult to tell what will unfold.”

One swimmer who will be missing from the championships is Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or due to an escalating dispute with the Israel Swimming Association.

On Sunday, Anastasia Gloushkov and Inna Yoffe finished the synchronized swimming duet final in Budapest in seventh position.


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