Europeans end on a low for Israel’s athletes

Israel's Ma’ayan Shahaf finished the high-jump final in Zurich tied for last place.

Israel’s high-jumper Ma’ayan Shahaf (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s high-jumper Ma’ayan Shahaf
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The European Athletics Championships ended on a disappointing note for Israel on Sunday, with Ma’ayan Shahaf finishing the high-jump final in Zurich tied for last place.
Shahaf cleared 1.85 meters with her first attempt just as she did in the qualifiers, but she failed in all three of her jumps at 1.90m and ended the event in 14th place with Estonia’s Grete Udras.
“All in all I had a satisfying championships,” said Sahaf. “I reached a major final for the first time and I’ll be looking to take another step forward at next year’s World Championships.”
The 35-year-old Ruth Beitia won the final with a jump of 2.01m.
The final day of the championships began with the men’s marathon.
Yimharan Yosef finished first among the four Israelis and in 40th place overall in a time of 2:24.26 hours. Berihun Wuve crossed the line just 13 seconds after Yosef, with Amir Ramon finishing in 50th place, and last among those who completed the course, in 2:30.45h.
Zohar Zimro retired after 30 kilometers due to pain in his feet.
Italy’s Daniele Meucci won the marathon in 2:11.08h.
Elsewhere, Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad kept his vest on as he bounced back from his steeplechase disqualification to seal the men’s 1,500 meters on Sunday and Mo Farah predictably won the 5,000 to complete a double.
Stripped of the 3,000 steeplechase gold for a shirtless celebration down the final straight on Thursday, Mekhissi-Benabbad responded by storming to victory, celebrating before he had even crossed the finishing line.
The Frenchman, who said he “ran with rage” and upset some sections of the crowd who found his behavior unsporting, gesticulated and laughed as he came down the final straight after a chaotic race in which several runners tripped over each other.
He also slowed, seeming to gesture to the other racers to speed up and nearly allowing them to catch him before crossing the line. Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen took silver and Britain’s Chris O’Hare the bronze.
Mekhissi-Benabbad, who has been involved in a history of incidents with mascots and opponents, was initially given a yellow card after removing his vest down the final straight as he won Thursday’s race.
However, he was subsequently disqualified after Spain protested the decision.
Olympic and world champion Farah won his fifth European gold with a superb final lap against an unimpressive field.
Farah, who won the 10,000 meters on Wednesday, made his move with one lap to go and, although Hayle Ibrahimovic gave chase, there was no way the Azeri could match the British runner’s explosive acceleration.
Reuters contributed to this report.