Niki Palli 298.88.
(photo credit: Joseph D. Robbins)
While Niki Palli lived up to his billing as the future of Israeli athletics on Monday as he qualified with ease for the high jump final at the European Athletics Championships, Vadim Bavikin could only manage a last-place finish in the qualifying round of the javelin.
The 19-year-old Israeli passed 2.26 meters on his second jump, which was more than enough to book a spot in Wednesday's final.
Palli was flawless through all of the heights leading up to his 2.26m attempt, passing 2.05m, 2.15m, 2.19m, and 2.23m on his first attempts.
All the favorites qualified for the final, including Sweden's Olympic champion Stefan Holm and Russians Ivan Ukhov and Yaroslav Rybakov.
Palli, who has a personal best of 2.30m, will be looking to set a career mark in the final that could put him in medal contention.
Three other Israelis competed on Monday and all of them had disappointing results. Tal Mor ran the 100-meter sprint in 10.78 seconds. He finished 41st out of 44 competitors and did not qualify for the second round.
Svetlana Gnezdilov ended the first day of the heptathlon in the 27th spot, out of 29, with 3,159 points. Gnezdilov began the day with a disappointing time of 14.18 in the 100-meter hurdles and followed that with a high jump of 1.59m. In the evening, the Israeli threw the shot put 11.68m and ran the 200-meter sprint in 25.49.
Bavikin could only manage 66.93m in the javelin and finished last in a field of 24 throwers.
Protesters burn Israeli flag outside stadium
More than 1,000 protesters burned an Israeli flag outside the stadium in Goteborg.
The protesters waved Lebanese flags and demanded an end to the fighting between Israeli forces and Hizbullah.
The group also called for a political, trade and sports boycott of Israel and said its athletes should not be allowed to compete in European competitions.
The protest was timed to coincide with Palli's and Bavikin's participation in their events.
AP contributed to this report.
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