Swimming: Israelis can't seem to handle the heats in Rome

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July 29, 2009 01:29

After improving his personal bests, Gal Nevo will be looking to become the first Israeli to reach a semifinal in the World Championships.

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Israeli swimmer Gal Nevo.

gal nevo 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

After improving on his personal bests in the 200 meters freestyle and butterfly earlier this week, Gal Nevo will be looking to become the first Israeli to reach a semifinal in the World Championships in Rome on Wednesday when he competes in the first of his two main events, the 200m Individual Medley. Nevo, who finished the 200m and 400m IM in 13th and 11th place, respectively, at the Beijing Games, broke the Israeli record in the 200m butterfly on Tuesday with a time of 1:57.02 minutes. However, even that impressive performance placed him in 19th, and left him an agonizingly close 27 hundredths of a second from the top 16 and a place in the evening's semifinal. Alon Mandel finished the 200m butterfly in 43rd position, touching the wall after 2:01.79m. Miki Malul was expected to be Israel's first semifinalist of the championships on Tuesday, but he disappointed in the 50m breaststroke, finishing in 24th position in a time of 27.60 seconds. Malul, who finished the same event in sixth position at the last World Championships two years ago, would have easily made the semifinals had he swam his personal best time of 27.27s. Iranian swimmer Mohammed Alirezaei was scheduled to compete in the same heat as Malul, but pulled out of the race in traditional unsporting Iranian manner.


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