Olympic gold medalist Ervin headlines Maccabiah swimming competition

Ervin, a native Californian now living in Florida, is the biggest name competing at this year’s Maccabiah.

July 8, 2017 23:23
1 minute read.
Anthony Ervin 20TH Maccabia  Games Wingate

Less than a year after winning two gold medals at the Rio Olympics, American Anthony Ervin will be competing today at the swimming events of the 20th Maccabiah at the Wingate Institute.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The swimming events at the 20th Maccabiah will get under way at the Wingate Institute on Sunday, with all eyes to be on American Anthony Ervin.

The 36-year-old Olympic champion will begin the day in the heats of the 100-meter freestyle and is hoping to pick up his first gold medal of the Games in the evening final.

Ervin, a native Californian now living in Florida, is the biggest name competing at this year’s Maccabiah.

He captured a pair of gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio in two swimming events: the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter relay. The victories were a near repeat of his gold and silver medals in the same events at the 2000 Games in Sydney.

Ervin, who has also won two golds and one silver World Championship medals, sat out competition for nearly nine years, until 2012, but returned to the top of the Olympic podium at the age of 35, making him the oldest individual Olympic gold medal winner in swimming.

Aiming to spoil his party on Sunday are several of Israel’s leading freestyle swimmers, including David Gamburg and Alexi Konovalov.

The battle for the medals in the women’s 100m free is set to be fought out between three of Israel’s representatives in Rio: Keren Siebner, Zohar Shikler and Andrea Murez.

Israel’s top swimmer Yakov Toumarkin will also be in action. Toumarkin is the favorite in the 200m backstroke.

One of the most decorated swimmers to compete on Sunday will be taking part in the Para events. Australian Matt Levy, 30, has seven medals to his name from the past three Paralympic Games and will be taking part in the 100m free on Sunday.

After Thursday’s opening ceremony and with no events taking place over Shabbat, the Maccabiah will get into full swing on Sunday, with judo, wrestling and cycling among the events to get under way.

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