Israei gymnastics team in London .
(photo credit: Mike Blake / Reuters)
LONDON – Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team ended the group final in the eighth and last place in the final day of the London Olympics on Sunday, while Zoher Zemiro finished the marathon in 81st out of the 85 runners to complete the race.
Polina Zakaluzny, Eliora Zholkovsky, Viktoriya Koshel, Noa Palatchy, Moran Buzovski and Marina Shults recorded an overall result of 53.400, three tenths higher than they did in qualifying, but could only end the final in eighth after strong performances by their opponents.
These are the second straight Olympics in which the Israel team has made the group final, with the Beijing 2008 side finishing the event in sixth place.
Zemiro clocked a disappointing time of 2:34.59 hours in the marathon, more than 20 minutes slower than the time he set to qualify for the Games.
Zemiro’s preparations for London were derailed for almost a month while he was suspended due to a failed drugs test.
The 35-year-old seemed set to miss the Olympics, but the Anti- Doping Committee of Israel court settled for a one month suspension and a reprimand after accepting Zemiro’s explanation that he tested positive for Terbutaline while using an asthma inhaler.
Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich won the marathon after he shot to the front with six kilometers remaining to defeat the experienced Kenyan pair of Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang.
A huge crowd packed the streets of central London during a sunbaked morning on the final day of the Games to watch Kiprotich join twice world gold medallist Kirui and London marathon champion Wilson Kipsang at the 30-km mark.
Six kilometers later Kiprotich pounced and held on to win in two hours eight minutes one second, 26 seconds ahead of Kirui with Kipsang a further 1:10 behind.