Lee Kurzits at London Olympics 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
LONDON – Alice Schlesinger’s dreams of Olympic glory in London were shattered on
Tuesday, but Lee Korzits lived up to her billing as the Israeli delegation’s
best medal hope with an impressive start to the windsurfing competition in
Schlesinger entered the women’s under- 63kg contest brimming
with confidence and was exactly where she wanted to be after defeating Austrian
nemesis Hilde Drexler to advance to the quarterfinals.
24-year-old’s campaign began to unravel in the last eight when she fell to
eventual gold-medalist Urska Zolnir of Slovenia, falling significantly behind
with two minutes remaining before being pinned to the mat to lose the
Despite the defeat, Schlesinger still had a chance to claim a
bronze medal via the repechage. But after requiring a painkilling injection to
her right elbow which she injured against Zolnir, Alice’s day was brought to an
end with a loss in a tight encounter to World and European champion Gevrise
Emane of France, with the Israeli being penalized for passiveness in
“I’m really disappointed. I wanted to win a
medal here,” a dejected Schlesinger said after her final defeat. “I did exactly
what I needed to in my first fight, but I was too tactical in the quarters
instead of being more aggressive and that was a mistake.
“The fight in
the repechage could have gone either way and I’m really frustrated. I beat
Zolnir in April’s European Championships, but it is not as if I lost to someone
I shouldn’t have lost to. Zolnir is the world No. 3 and Emane is the No.
No one on the Israeli delegation entered the London Games with more
pressure than Korzits, but she coped with it superbly on Tuesday, winning the
first race of the women’s windsurfing competition before finishing third in the
second to place second overall after the opening day.
“This is a pretty
good start for me, but there is still a long way to go,” said Korzits, with
eight more races still to come over the coming week before next Tuesday’s medal
“I didn’t start the races very well, but I picked up some good
speed and I can’t wait to get back out there. I felt good physically and the
conditions should be in my favor over the coming days.”
who won Israel’s only medal at the Beijing Games four years ago, did not do as
well in the 20-knot winds in Weymouth, finishing Tuesday’s races in 12th and
eighth to end the day in 10th place overall.
The windsurfing competitions
continue on Wednesday with races 3 and 4.
Nufar Edelman’s poor showing in
the women’s Laser Radial in Weymouth continued on Tuesday. She is in 33rd place
overall following two days of competition after finishing her third and fourth
races, in 33rd and 34th place, respectively.
Races 5 and 6 are on
Alex Shatilov returns to competition on Wednesday when he
takes part in the gymnastics individual all-around final.
qualified for the final from 12th place overall with a score of 89.032 points
and will be hoping to break into the top 10 on Wednesday.
will be competing almost pressure free, knowing his big day will arrive on
Sunday when he takes part in the floor final, expecting to win a
Gal Nevo and Yakov Toumarkin will be looking to improve on their
early showings in the pool on Wednesday.
Nevo finished in a respectable
10th place in the 400-meter individual medley in the first day of the swimming
and will be expecting to at least reach the semifinal of the 200m IM on
Wednesday, the way he did in Beijing four years ago.
bitterly disappointed at failing to reach the semis in the 100m back, finishing
in 24th place overall, and will know only a semifinal berth in the 200m back
will ensure him sweet memories from the London Games.