Maccabiah pole-vault 370.
(photo credit: (Tibor Yeger))
Four years after retiring, Alex Averbukh won his second Maccabiah gold medal on
Wednesday evening, finishing first in the pole vault competition at Hadar Yosef
with a jump of 5.15 meters.
The 38-year-old two-time European pole vault
champion officially ended his illustrious career after the 18th Maccabiah in
2009, but decided to come out of retirement for one last event so that his
little girl could see him compete.
Not only did she see her father jump
on Wednesday, but she also saw him win, 12 years after he claimed his first gold
medal at the Jewish Olympics.
Averbukh, who was crowned European Champion
twice in a row in 2002 and 2006, and won silver and bronze medals at the World
Championships in 2001 and 1999 respectively, beat his young protegee Lev
Skorish, who could only clear 5.00m.
The 19-year-old Skorish won the
bronze medal at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine last week
with a personal best jump of 5.10m.
“It was fun jumping against an
athlete I coach,” said Averbukh.
“Now I’ll go back to nurturing him
because he has potential.”
Donald Sanford broke the Israeli record in the
men’s 400m final to win the gold medal on Wednesday, but ended the race with a
bittersweet feeling after missing the criteria time for next month’s World
Championships by five hundredths of a second.
Sanford clocked a time of
45.65 seconds, improving his own national record by six hundredths. He beat
20-yearold Australian Steven Solomon, who finished eighth in the London Olympics
final, but could only manage a time of 46.24s on Wednesday, over a second slower
than his personal best.
“I’m really happy with the way I ran, but it’s a
shame I just missed the criteria,” Sanford said. “I have a few more chances to
set it in the coming days and I believe I can do it.”
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