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 last week.

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 France.

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Sanford was required by the Olympic Committee of Israel to record an Olympic A standard time of 45.30s to book his place in London.

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 Games.

With Sanford’s addition, the Israeli delegation to London will now number 37 athletes.

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