Nevo first Israeli to qualify for short course final in Qatar

The 27-year-old clocked a time of 4:07.99 minutes, 1.44 seconds slower than the time he recorded in the morning heats.

Israeli swimmer Gal Nevo (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli swimmer Gal Nevo
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Gal Nevo reached the 400-meter individual medley final at the world short course swimming championships for a third straight time on Thursday night, finishing in eighth place overall in Doha, Qatar.
The 27-year-old clocked a time of 4:07.99 minutes, 1.44 seconds slower than the time he recorded in the morning heats.
“I felt good and the swim went pretty much as planned,” said Nevo. “Qualifying for the final was my main target at these championships.”
Nevo, who ended the 400m IM finals at the two previous championships in fifth and seventh place, respectively, made a surprise move two months ago when he left the national team program and head coach Leonid Kaufman to train alone with coach Ehud Segal.
Thursday’s result is an encouraging early sign for Nevo and Segal, with the swimmer also set to participate in the 100m and 200m IM heats in Doha.
Amit Ivry will become the second Israeli to compete in a final in Doha on Friday after an impressive showing in the women’s 100m IM on Thursday.
Ivry recorded a time of 58.88s in the evening semis, 11 hundredths of a second slower than her result in the heats, to qualify for the final from seventh place overall.
The 25-year-old has registered consistent progress over recent years and finally has something to show for her efforts after a frustrating experience at the European Championships in Berlin during the summer.
Ivry came tantalizingly close to qualifying for five different finals in the German capital, only to come up just short time and again.
Earlier Thursday, David Gamburg ended the 50m freestyle heats in 33rd place in a time of 22.03s. Iranian swimmer Jamal Chavoshifar, who was supposed to swim alongside Gamburg, pulled out prior to their heat, following Iranian guidelines of never to compete against Israelis.
It was not the first time an Iranian swimmer refused to compete alongside an Israeli, with Mohammad Alirezaei not showing up for his heat with Tom Be’eri at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The five-day event in the non-Olympic 25-meter pool in Doha will continue on Friday, with all five Israelis (Nevo, Ivry, Gamburg, Ya’akov Toumarkin and Guy Barnea) to be in action.