Shahar Zubari won the Israel national windsurfing title yesterday, finishing ahead of Yoav Omer and Nimrod Mashiah at Mikhmoret..
(photo credit: AMIT SHISEL)
One month before the start of the world windsurfing championships in Oman, Shahar Zubari and Ma’ayan Davidovich registered confidence- boosting triumphs in Mikhmoret on Monday, finishing in first place at the Israel national championships.
Zubari and Davidovich led from the start of the four-day competition and remained in control until Monday’s final races.
Zubari finished with 28 points, eight ahead of youth world champion, Yoav Omer, with Nimrod Mashiah coming third. World No. 1, Byron Kokalanis of Greece, could only manage a sixthplace finish.
Zubari and Mashiah are battling to represent Israel at next summer’s Rio Olympics, with each country only being allowed to send a single windsurfer to the Games.
The national championships were not one of the five competitions which will decide who will surf in Rio, with Mashiah currently leading Zubari by 4.25 points after two events.
The world championships will be the next chance for the two to pick up points in the race for a place in Brazil.
“It feels good to win,” said Zubari, who claimed a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. “The important competition is in a month and I hope that I will scale the podium there as well.”
Despite finishing behind Zubari, Mashiah was pleased with his performance in Mikhmoret.
“It took me a little time to find my rhythm, but this was a perfect simulation for the world championships,” said Mashiah.
“We faced quality rivals from abroad and Shahar is a top surfer, so for me this was a perfect practice.”
Davidovich finished ahead of countrywomen Noga Geller and Hadar Heller.
“It is always exciting to compete at home, especially as I hadn’t had a chance to do so this year,” said Davidovich. “I had a good competition and I hope to build on this form at the world championships. Of course my goal is to win a medal after taking a bronze in the past two editions.”