Tomer Or 224.88.
(photo credit: Asaf Shalev )
A late collapse by Tomer Or on Wednesday epitomized the Beijing Olympics for Israel's three fencers.
The 29-year-old led 10-6 against Canadian Joshua McGuire with just 46 seconds remaining in his first round encounter, but lost four consecutive points and was knocked out of the foil competition in extra-time.
"I've failed," a smiling Or admitted. "I lost a fight I should have won and that's very disappointing. I have a tendency to drop big leads. I tried to work on this ahead of the Games, but it obviously didn't help and I've only got myself to blame."
Two hours later, the 22-year-old Noam Mills faced three-time Olympic medalist, Laura Flessel Colovic, in the women's Epee contest, and suffered an expected 15-8 defeat.
"I'm bitterly disappointed," said a tearful Mills, despite the fact she was fighting a superior opponent. "I expected to at least advance past the first round."
Her coach Ohad Balva said, "Noam got off to a very good start, but as soon as you fall behind against the Frenchwoman you're in trouble."
Despite the early exit, Balva believes Mills has still got a bright future ahead of her.
"Mills can win a medal in London 2012. I said it two years ago when nobody even thought she'd make the Olympics. I'm saying it again now after she got thrashed and I'll remind everyone I said it after she thrashes opponents in London."
Wednesday's defeats together with Delila Hatuel's first round loss on Monday complete a very poor Olympic showing by Israel's fencers.
"It's very disappointing that all three fencers lost in the first round," Mills said. "The fact we sent three representatives to the Games was, however, a success in itself and I hope we can do better in future Olympics."
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