ISRAEL'S Lee Korzits Windsurfs 311.
(photo credit: Richard Langdon/Perth 2011))
LONDON – Two of Israel’s best medal hopes at the London Olympics enter the frame
on Tuesday, with Lee Korzits beginning her participation in the eight-day long
women’s windsurfing competition and Alice Schlesinger to participate in the
women’s judo under-63kg contest.
Never has an Israeli entered the
Olympics as a two-time defending world champion and Korzits will have to deal
with the pressure that comes with that when she surfs the first two races in
Weymouth on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Korzits proved recently that she can
succeed at the Olympic venue even in far from ideal conditions, scaling the
podium at the dress rehearsal for the London Games last month, finishing in
third place overall in a World Cup event despite falling ill with a
Korzits has been dealing with a non-sports related illness in
recent months, but she has taken every measure to make sure she will be ready
for the Olympics and she would like nothing more than a confidence- boosting
start on Tuesday.
Korzits, who became the youngest windsurfing world
champion in 2003 and won her second gold in the event last December before
defending her title in March, will be looking to erase the memories of the 2004
Athens Games where she finished in a relatively disappointing 13th
Shahar Zubari has very fond memories from his last Olympics
after he claimed a bronze medal in the men’s windsurfing event in Beijing four
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He required a dramatic comeback to book his place at the 2012
Games at the expense of countryman Nimrod Mashiah and will be looking to prove
he still belongs with the world’s elite when the men’s competition gets underway
on Tuesday after failing to medal at a major championship in the last two
Schlesinger is a product of the Israeli judo boom which followed
the medals won by Yael Arad and Oren Smadja at the 1992 Barcelona Games and it
would be quite fitting for her to become the first Israeli woman to win an
Olympic medal since Arad did so 20 years ago.
The 24-year-old, who won
her third bronze medal at the European Championships in April, received a bye
into the last 16 of the under-63kg competition where she will face the winner of
the fight between Hilde Drexler and Rizlen Zouak.
Also Tuesday, Nufar
Edelman participates in races 3 and 4 in the women’s Laser Radial event after
finishing both Monday’s races in 33rd place, ending the day ranked 35 out of 41
The Israeli delegation will be hoping for a better day overall
on Tuesday after once more having little to cheer about on Monday.
Ivry provided the lone bright spot of the day, becoming the first Israeli female
ever to advance to a swimming semifinal, reaching the last 16 with a new
national record time of 2:13.29 minutes to progress from 12th
Ivry, who also became the first Israeli female or male to reach a
semi in London, couldn’t improve on her time in the evening session,
“I proved to myself and to everyone that I belong with the
world’s best,” Ivry said.
“Sometimes a little bit of luck is the only
difference between success and failure.
“I brought a smile to the entire
swim team in London. We are doing our best, and had we been a little luckier,
things would have looked different at this stage.
“I hope that my success
encourages Yakov Toumarkin and Gal Nevo and gives them the boost they need to do
well in their remaining swims.”
Gal Nevo ended the 200m butterfly in 32nd
place overall on Monday in a time of 1:59.98m, but his focus will already have
been on the 200m individual medley heats on Wednesday when he expects to at
least reach the semis.
Soso Palelashvili progressed to the last 16 of the
under-73kg judo competition with a win over Turkey’s Sezar Huysuz on Monday
before falling to eventual silver medalist Riki Nakaya of Japan.
Richter came agonizingly close to reaching the 10m air rifle final, missing out
on a place in the last eight by a single position and a single point, recording
a result of 595 out of 600.
Ivry, who also became the first Israeli
female or male to reach a semi in London, couldn’t improve on her time in the
evening session, clocking 2:13.31m to finish in the 13th position overall.
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