Israeli doubles pair just misses podium

After epic duel, Weinberg and Erenlib finish 4th in quad tennis; Blue-and-white goalball team faces Turkey in quarters.

Noam Gershony in action during the men’s tennis singles wheelchair event in the Paralympics (photo credit: RAZI LIVNAT / MAARIV)
Noam Gershony in action during the men’s tennis singles wheelchair event in the Paralympics
(photo credit: RAZI LIVNAT / MAARIV)
Shraga Weinberg and Itai Erenlib missed out on a bronze medal in men’s quad wheelchair tennis at the Rio Paralympics in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday, losing 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) to Britain’s Jamie Burdekin and Andy Lapthorne in a grueling four hours and 25 minutes.
The match was played in 35 degrees Celsius and a 30-minute break was required after the second set, which by itself lasted one hour and 50 minutes.
The third set took one minute longer and was only decided in a tie-breaker.
The Israeli duo was within two points of the win in the 10th game of the third set, but couldn’t register the break.
The Brits then broke in the 11th game, only for the Israelis to break back to force a tiebreak. However, Burdekin and Lapthorne would dominate when it mattered most to clinch the win.
The 50-year-old Weinberg was targeting his third Paralympic medal after taking a bronze in the doubles four years ago and a silver in 2008. The 31-year-old Erenlib was hoping for his first medal.
The Israeli Paralympic delegation remains with two bronze medals so far, won by rower Moran Samuel and shooter Doron Shaziri.
Meanwhile, Israel’s goalball team will face Turkey in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Israel lost 7-3 to USA on Tuesday to drop to fourth place in Group C.
Turkey finished in first place in Group D.
Swimmer Inbal Pezaro is still searching for her first medal in Rio after ending the women’s S5 50m freestyle final in sixth place in a time of 39.73 seconds.
Pezaro was taking part in her third individual final in Rio, but to her frustration she has yet to scale the podium.
Pezaro won three medals in each of the previous two Paralympics, taking three bronzes in 2012 and three silvers four years earlier, while also claiming a silver and a bronze in Athens 2004. She has still got two more events to come in Rio, the 100m freestyle and the 200m individual medley.
Yoav Valinsky ended the men’s SM6 200m individual medley final in seventh place in a time of 2:59.08m.
Elsewhere, intense fencing action dominated day five of the Paralympics.
Anton Datsko defeated Panagiotis Triantafyllou of Greece 15-7 in Category B of the Men’s Individual Sabre before his training partner and best friend Andrii Demchuk secured an equally decisive victory over Hungary’s Richard Osvath to win the Category A competition.
Sascha Kindred finished his incredible swimming career with a new world record and a gold medal in the men’s 200 meters SM6 individual medley. Kindred, who had earlier been disqualified during the heats before being re-instated following an appeal, set a world record time of 2:38.47 to win his last race before retirement.
This gold in Rio is his 13th medal overall from six Paralympic Games.
Slovakia clinched their first ever Boccia Paralympic gold medal as pair Samuel Andrejcik and Michaela Balcova ran out 4-2 winners over Brazil in front of a passionate home crowd. Andrejcik and Balcova’s win ended Brazil’s hopes of a third successive Paralympic crown in the Paris BC 4 category.
Another man who has had to wait for success is Chinese Shot Putter Fu Xinhan, who finally won his first gold medal at his fourth Paralympic Games.
Fu won the F35 event with a throw of 15.19 meters after three silver medals in the past.
Alongside Fu in the Olympic Stadium was Poland’s Maciej Lepiato, who broke his own high jump world record by a centimeter to win gold in the T44 class.
Reuters contributed to this report.