Olympic Committee of Israel president Zvi Varshaviak said on Sunday he hopes the
Israeli delegation will return from the London Games with at least two medals,
while also announcing Shahar Zubari will carry the country’s flag at the opening
Varshaviak was speaking at a press conference at Hadar Yosef in
Tel Aviv after the OCI officially approved the Israel delegation to London,
which will number 36 athletes.
The delegation could increase by one more
sportsman or sportswoman, with Dima Kroyter and Anastasia Muchkayev being given
the opportunity to book their place as an up-and-coming athlete in the European
Athletics Championships, which get underway in Helsinki this
The OCI's list includes tennis duo Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich
who will only learn on Thursday if they have been given an Olympic berth by the
“Today we ended a marathon we began three years ago when we
announced our criteria for the London Games,” Varshaviak said.
Israel will send six or seven athletes fewer to London than it did to Beijing
four years ago, Varshaviak is confident the delegation can return with a greater
medal haul than ever before.
Israel has won at least one medal in each of
the past five summer Olympics, taking two in 1992 and 2004.
“I think that
this is the best delegation, quality wise, Israel has ever sent to the
Olympics,” Varshaviak said.
“This time we are hoping for more than two
“In previous Olympics we hoped for two and usually won one, but
this time I believe that we can return with three.”
According to the
OCI’s estimation, at least six of Israel’s representatives have a good chance of
winning a medal in London.
The OCI is especially proud of the fact that
exactly half of the delegation is female, while over 50 percent of the athletes
will be appearing in the Olympics for the first time.