israel olympics 298.
(photo credit: AP)
Asaf Bimro, Wodage Zvyda and Heila Satayin will be the first members of Israel's team to take part at the IAAF Athletics World Championships at Osaka on Saturday, running in the event's first race, the marathon.
The Israel team includes seven athletes, with the men's jumping events attracting most of the attention once again.
Two-time European champion and 2001 World Championships silver medalist Alex Averbukh, who will compete in the pole-vault qualification on Thursday, is Israel's only serious medal hope.
Averbukh is also the only Israeli athlete to have already booked his place at next year's Beijing Olympics.
Israel's other athletes have no chance of finishing on the podium and will all be aiming to meet the Olympic criteria and join Averbukh in China .
Bimro, Zvyda and Satayin, who at 52 will be the oldest athlete at Osaka, will need to finish the marathon in two hours and 15 minutes or finish in the top third of the competition to claim an Olympic berth.
Israel's only female representative at the championships, Nili Abramski, will run in the marathon next Sunday.
High jumper Niki Palli, 20, who will be participating in his first senior World Championships, will be hoping to build on his impressive display at last year's European Championships.
Palli, who finished in sixth position among the Europeans, will be happy to settle for a place in the high jump final in Japan.
He can book his place in Beijing by reaching the final or by repeating his personal best jump of 2.30 meters when he competes on Monday.
Itai Magidi needs to improve on his Israeli record by 44 hundredths of a second in the 3,000m steeplechase to secure his first ever trip to an Olympic Games.
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