(photo credit: Courtesy)
Another successful day at the Olympic pool ended with two more Israeli records, but once more the level in Beijing proved too high for Israel's best and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or and Tom Be'eri failed to advance to the semifinals.
Bar-Or, who smashed the Israeli record in the 200 meters freestyle to advance to the semis in shocking fashion on Sunday, improved Yoav Bruk's 11-year-old record in the 100m free by more than a second on Tuesday, setting a time of 49.10 seconds to finish 26th overall.
"It's very special to break Bruk's record," Bar-Or said. "My aim for the future is to reach an Olympic final and perhaps become the first Israeli to scale the podium in swimming at the Games."
Be'eri obliterated his Israeli record in the 200m breaststroke by almost two seconds, touching the wall after 2:11.44 minutes.
Despite his superb achievement, Be'eri only finished in 20th place overall and missed out on a semifinal berth by 25 hundredths of a second.
An illustration of how much swimming has advanced since the Athens Games is that in 2004 the time set by Be'eri on Tuesday would have seen him finish in fifth place in the final.
"I wasn't surprised by the fact that I didn't make the semifinal," Be'eri said. "I did what I could and there's no reason for me to be disappointed."
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