Yakov Toumarkin 370.
(photo credit: reuters)
Toumarkin’s talent has been clear for all to see for many years, but few
expected him to break through in such a stunning manner over the past
The 20-year-old proved he is the star of the present, not just the
future, when he became the first Israeli to win two medals in a single European
Championship, finishing third in both the 100m and 200m backstroke in Debrecen,
Hungary, in May.
Toumarkin, who was also a double medalist in both the
Youth Olympics and European Junior Championships two years ago, set impressive
Israeli records in both events in Debrecen, touching the wall after 54.14
seconds in the 100m, and clocking a time of 1:57.35m in the 200m.
is a big surprise and a big success for me,” Toumarkin said at the
“I didn’t think I would be able to scale the podium ahead of the
championships, but I felt I could do it during the event and I realized my
dream. Now my sights are set on the Olympics where I hope to become the second
Israeli swimmer to reach a final.”
To date, only one Israeli has
participated in a final of an individual swimming event at the Olympics, with
Eitan Urbach making the 100m backstroke final in the 2000 Sydney
Just a year ago it seemed impossible that Toumarkin could become
the second in London.
However, after his recent accomplishments he enters
the Olympics believing everything is possible, and in his case, there is every
reason to believe it truly is.