(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel's Alice Schlesinger lost in the repechage of the under 63kg Judo competition at the London Olympics on Tuesday, falling to France's Gevrise Emane after losing to Slovenia's Urska Zolnir in the quarterfinals.
Earlier on Tuesday, Schlesinger had defeated Austria's Hilde Drexler to advance to the quarterfinals.
The 24-year-old Schlesinger is a product of the Israeli judo boom which followed the medals won by Yael Arad and Oren Smadja at the 1992 Barcelona Games and it would be quite fitting for her to become the first Israeli woman to win an Olympic medal since Arad did so 20 years ago.
Later on Tuesday, Lee Korzits is set to begin her participation in the eight-day long women’s windsurfing competition.
Never has an Israeli entered the Olympics as a two-time defending world champion and Korzits will have to deal with the pressure that comes with that when she surfs the first two races in Weymouth on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Korzits proved recently that she can succeed at the Olympic venue even in far from ideal conditions, scaling the podium at the dress rehearsal for the London Games last month, finishing in third place overall in a World Cup event despite falling ill with a cold.
Korzits has been dealing with a non-sports related illness in recent months, but she has taken every measure to make sure she will be ready for the Olympics and she would like nothing more than a confidence- boosting start on Tuesday.
Korzits, who became the youngest windsurfing world champion in 2003 and won her second gold in the event last December before defending her title in March, will be looking to erase the memories of the 2004 Athens Games where she finished in a relatively disappointing 13th position.
Shahar Zubari has very fond memories from his last Olympics after he claimed a bronze medal in the men’s windsurfing event in Beijing four years ago.
He required a dramatic comeback to book his place at the 2012 Games at the expense of countryman Nimrod Mashiah and will be looking to prove he still belongs with the world’s elite when the men’s competition gets underway on Tuesday after failing to medal at a major championship in the last two years.
Also Tuesday, Nufar Edelman participates in races 3 and 4 in the women’s Laser Radial event after finishing both Monday’s races in 33rd place, ending the day ranked 35 out of 41 sailors.
The Israeli delegation will be hoping for a better day overall on Tuesday after once more having little to cheer about on Monday.
Amit Ivry provided the lone bright spot of the day, becoming the first Israeli female ever to advance to a swimming semifinal, reaching the last 16 with a new national record time of 2:13.29 minutes to progress from 12th place.
Ivry, who also became the first Israeli female or male to reach a semi in London, couldn’t improve on her time in the evening session, clocking.
“I proved to myself and to everyone that I belong with the world’s best,” Ivry said.
“Sometimes a little bit of luck is the only difference between success and failure.
“I brought a smile to the entire swim team in London. We are doing our best, and had we been a little luckier, things would have looked different at this stage.
“I hope that my success encourages Yakov Toumarkin and Gal Nevo and gives them the boost they need to do well in their remaining swims.”
Gal Nevo ended the 200m butterfly in 32nd place overall on Monday in a time of 1:59.98m, but his focus will already have been on the 200m individual medley heats on Wednesday when he expects to at least reach the semis.
Soso Palelashvili progressed to the last 16 of the under-73kg judo competition with a win over Turkey’s Sezar Huysuz on Monday before falling to eventual silver medalist Riki Nakaya of Japan.
Sergey Richter came agonizingly close to reaching the 10m air rifle final, missing out on a place in the last eight by a single position and a single point, recording a result of 595 out of 600.
Ivry, who also became the first Israeli female or male to reach a semi in London, couldn’t improve on her time in the evening session, clocking 2:13.31m to finish in the 13th position overall.