Israeli swimmer Yakov Toumarkin 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
After a disappointing start to the World Championships, matters only went from bad to worse for Israel’s swimmers in Barcelona on Thursday.
Yakov Toumarkin was Israel’s big hope at the championships after finishing the 200- meter backstroke at the London Olympics last summer in a historic seventh place.
However, the 21-year-old choked in his favorite event on Thursday, failing to even qualify for the semifinals of the 200m back, clocking a time of 1:59.39 minutes to finish in 18th place overall.
Toumarkin couldn’t make up for his slow start, and will be bitterly frustrated at setting a time two seconds slower than his personal best.
Toumarkin’s heartbreak comes on the back of four poor days for the Israeli delegation in Barcelona. The blue-and-white is still waiting for it’s first semifinalist in the championships with only three more days of swimming remaining.
Gal Nevo set a new personal best of 2:14.94m in the 200m breaststroke on Thursday, but still only ended the event in 28th position, missing the semis.
Nevo still has one more chance to ensure he leaves Spain with a smile, with his favorite event, the 400m individual medley, taking place in the final day of competition on Sunday. The 26-year-old ended the 400m IM final in sixth place at the 2009 worlds. Since the 1991 championships, Israel has had at least one semifinalist in each edition of the worlds.
Apart from the 2005 contest, Israel has also always had at least one finalist at the global championships since 1994.
Besides Nevo, Guy Barnea and Jonatan Kopolev will be confident of achieving success in the 50m backstroke, which takes place on Saturday.
Barnea finished the 50m back final in sixth position at the championships two years ago, while Kopolev won the gold medal in the sprint swim at the European Championships last year.