Israel’s Lenskiy and Shahaf fall short of Olympic berths

Shahaf needed to clear 1.93m in the high jump to reach Rio, one centimeter better than the personal best she set three years ago.

July 7, 2016 00:29
1 minute read.
Olga Lenskiy

Olga Lenskiy came up short of booking her place at the Rio Olympics last night despite winning the women’s 200-meter final at the Israel Athletics Championships in Tel Aviv.. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)


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Sprinter Olga Lenskiy and high jumper Ma’ayan Shahaf will watch next month’s Rio Olympics from home after both came up short of Olympic qualification on Wednesday in the opening day of the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam.

Lenskiy was targeting a time of 23.20 seconds in the 200- meter heats, but only managed 23.90s to finish in fifth place in Heat 3.

Shahaf needed to clear 1.93m in the high jump to reach Rio, one centimeter better than the personal best she set three years ago.

However, she ended the qualifiers in 25th place out of 26 women, settling for 1.80m.

One of Israel’s medal hopes in the competition enters the fray on Thursday when Donald Sanford, who claimed a bronze medal at the Europeans in Zurich in 2014, begins his campaign in the 400m semifinals.

Sanford advanced directly to the semis after clocking a time of 45.26s at the Israel national championships last month.

Israel’s delegation to Amsterdam grew by another athlete on Wednesday after hammer thrower Oleksandr Drygol was given permission by the IAAF to represent Israel.

The 50-year-old Drygol, who had represented Ukraine despite living in Israel, will be the oldest athlete in the championships, and his throw of 77.70m last month ranks him 10th in the world this year.

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