gold medalist 298.88.
(photo credit: Allon Sinai)
If the Israeli delegation to the Beijing Olympics returns to Israel without a medal, "it will be a failure," Olympic Committee of Israel (OCI) Secretary General Efraim Zinger said on Wednesday.
At least one Israeli has won a medal at every Summer Olympic Games since Yael Arad picked up a silver in the judo in Barcelona 16 years ago.
"The public expects us to succeed and we must do so," Zinger said during a press conference in the Chinese capital.
Director of Israel's Elite Sport Department, Gili Lostig, said that the athletes are settling in at the Olympic village and that there are no new injury concerns.
"All the athletes are slowly getting used to their daily schedules," he said. "Fencer Delila Hatuel, who was injured last month, is showing good progress and is practicing as normal. Alex Shatilov, who will begin to compete on Saturday in the Artistic Gymnastics competitions, has recovered from his finger injury and is in good form."
Zinger added that he's never seen an Olympic city as ready for the Games as Beijing currently is.
"Compared to previous Olympics, Beijing is in first place in its organization, the standard of the Olympic village and the level of the facilities," Zinger said.
"The Chinese are working very effectively and are making the most of their endless work force."
Much has been said and written about the pollution problem in Beijing, but Zinger has no concerns.
"The pollution levels are nothing new. The International Olympic Committee knew all about them when it selected Beijing to host the Games and the World Health Organization has approved the city," said Zinger, who also repeated on Wednesday that the delegation must return home with at least one medal.
"If the pollution passes a certain level the IOC will not hesitate to postpone or even cancel events. The health of the athletes is the most important thing."
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.