Despite failing to achieve the Israeli criteria, 400-meter runner Donald Sanford
was added to Israel’s delegation to the London Olympics at the last moment on
Thursday night after finishing fourth in the final of the European Championships
The 25-year-old Los Angeles native, who received citizenship
earlier this year after marrying an Israeli, came a mere nine hundredths of a
second from an historic medal for Israel in a sprint event, ending the 400m
final in a time of 45.91 seconds, fractions behind Yannick Fonsat of
Sanford was required by the Olympic Committee of Israel to record
an Olympic A standard time of 45.30s to book his place in
However, a special committee headed by OCI president Zvi
Varshaviak accepted the country’s Elite Sport Department’s recommendation that
Sanford’s performances in Helsinki last week should be deemed as an
extraordinary accomplishment and therefore he should be sent to the 2012
With Sanford’s addition, the Israeli delegation to London will now
number 37 athletes.
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