Itai Magidi brings up the rear in 3,000m steeplechase

Israel's last hopes for a medal rests on Alex Averbukh, who will be defending his title in the pole vault final on Sunday.

August 13, 2006 07:44
1 minute read.
Itai Magidi brings up the rear in 3,000m steeplechase

alex averbukh 298.88. (photo credit: AP)


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On TV: European Athletics Championships (live from 1 p.m. on Eurosport; marathon scheduled to begin at 2:10 p.m. and pole vault final scheduled to begin at 2:45 p.m.). Itai Magidi finished last in the final of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the European Athletics Championships in Goteborg, Sweden, on Friday, clocking a time of 8 minutes 52.69 seconds. Despite his disappointing finish, the 25-year-old will be pleased with his overall performance at the championships after becoming the first Israeli runner ever to reach a European final. Magidi began the race well and led through 1,000 meters, but as the race progressed, he tired and had to settle for 11th place. Magidi, who trains at Clemson University in South Carolina, could not repeat his time from the qualifiers (8:25.04), which would have been good enough for a silver medal. On Saturday, Nili Avramski finished in a respectable 22nd place out of 37 in the women's marathon. The 37-year-old recorded a time of 2 hours 41 minutes 23 seconds, which was her best of the season. As the European Championships come to a close on Sunday, Israel's hopes of a last gasp medal rest on Alex Averbukh. The defending European champion will compete in the pole vault final and is hoping to repeat his success in 2002. The 31-year-old could only manage a disappointing 5.45 meters in Thursday's qualifiers and will need to vastly improve on that performance if he is to have any chance of reaching the medal podium. Also on Sunday, Israel's four men's marathon runners will take to the road for the longest race of all. Ayele Setegne, Wodage Zvyda, Asaf Bimro and Swonek Dastao are not expected to finish in the front of the field, but will have an outside chance of a medal in the group competition. Only nine teams are competing in the group marathon and if three of the four Israelis record good times, they may have a shot at a surprise medal.

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