OCI hands Palli Olympic ticket, Sela must wait

Ahead of the Olympic games the OCI chose to toughen the criteria for each sport in order to ensure that only world class athletes would be able to represent Israel.

dudi sela 88 (photo credit:)
dudi sela 88
(photo credit: )
The Olympic Committee of Israel recommended on Thursday that high-jumper Niki Palli, fencer Noam Mils and rhythmic gymnast Neta Rivkin be added to Israel's Olympic delegation for the upcoming games in Beijing. All three met the International Olympic Committee's criteria for this summer's Olympics, but were a question mark for the games after failing to meet the OCI's sterner criteria. Ahead of the Olympic games the OCI chose to toughen the criteria for each sport in order to ensure that only world class athletes would be able to represent Israel. The OCI has now decided, however, that 21-year-old Palli, 22-year-old Mils and 16-year-old Rivkin will be allowed to go to China because of their tender age and their promise for the future. Another Israeli athlete who will be in Beijing despite failing to meet the OCI's criteria is swimmer Tom Be'eri, who was given a pass after setting an outstanding Israeli record in the 200 breaststroke. One sportsman, who will have to wait slightly longer to know if he's to take part in the Olympics, is Dudi Sela. Israel's No. 1 tennis player met the IOC's criteria, but failed to be ranked among the world's top-50 by the end of the French Open as the OCI's benchmark demanded. The OCI did, however, give Sela another chance on Thursday, announcing that should he record an outstanding result at Wimbledon he will get to go Beijing. The OCI didn't, though, specify what result would qualify as outstanding, adding further confusion to Sela's Olympic status. The Israel Tennis Association announced that it will appeal the OCI's decision. The ITA also said that it had updated the International Tennis Federation, which promised to turn to the IOC if the decision isn't overturned.