(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Aftter disappointingly missing out on a place in the final of the 200-meters backstroke at the world championships last week, Yaakov Toumarkin channeled his frustration into breaking the Israeli record twice on Wednesday at the national championships in the Wingate Institute.
The 23-year-old was the Israeli delegation’s best performer at the global championships in Kazan, Russia, advancing to two semifinals. He ended the 200m individual medley in 11th place and the 100m backstroke in 12th.
However, he only managed a 17th-place finish in his main event, the 200m back, in which he finished seventh at the London 2012 Olympics
With the pressure off, Toumarkin broke his national record in both the morning heats and evening final on Wednesday. He took 26 hundredths of a second off the record in the heats before improving his personal best by more than a second on his way to the gold medal, clocking a time of 1:55.96 minutes.
Toumarkin’s time in Wingate would have been good enough for a seventh-place finish in the final of the world championships.
“Today takes me back to my child - hood when I used to always surprise myself,” Toumarkin said. “I’m dead tired, but I’m really happy. I went for the record both in the morning and the evening. There is still a long time to go until the Rio Olympics, but I certainly have expectations from myself.”
National team coach Leonid Kaufman expects Toumarkin to be in a final at r io 2016.
“I guess y akov decided he wanted to break the record in Wingate and not the world championships,” joked Kaufman. “ h e was a little tired in the 200m back in Kazan. I have no doubt that he should be in a final in Rio. h e needs to decide between the 200m I m and the 200m back. h e should bring glory to Israeli swimming.”
Two more national records were broken on Wednesday, coming on the back of Gil Kizler’s Israel record in the 800m freestyle in the first day of the championships on Tuesday.
Ido Haber improved the record he set in Kazan in the 400m free on Wednesday, setting a time of 3:51.54m on the way to the gold medal.
Tomer Zamir broke the national record in the 50m butterfly, clocking 23.76s, 14 hundredths of a second faster than the previous best set by Alon Mandel in 2009.
The five-day championships at Wingate will continue until Saturday.