(photo credit: REUTERS)
Yakov Toumarkin and Andrea Murez became the first Israelis to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics over the weekend at the swimming State Cup competition held at Wingate Institute.
The State Cup was the first opportunity for Israeli swimmers to register the Olympic qualifying time standards for Rio and Toumarkin and Murez wasted little time in doing so.
Toumarkin recorded a time of 1:59.49 minutes in the 200- meter individual medley final on Friday, before also bettering the qualifying time announced by FINA in the 200m backstroke final on Saturday, finishing in 1:58.20.
“I can already look Rio in the eye after achieving my goal of qualifying for the Olympics,” said Toumarkin. “However, my next goal after this event in this summer’s World Championships in Kazan, Russia.”
Murez, who moved to Israel from the US last year, qualified in the 50m freestyle after registering a new Israeli record time of 25.12 seconds on Saturday. “I thought I swam really well and I’m delighted to have qualified,” said Murez. “I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”