Games hit full stride on Day 3 of competition

Some of the most heated and anticipated sports begin Tuesday.

maccabiah basketball 88 (photo credit: )
maccabiah basketball 88
(photo credit: )
It's already been a full two days of Maccabiah Games, and more sports are ready to kick off their tournaments. Some of the most heated and anticipated sports begin Tuesday, such as men's and women's basketball and men's and women's volleyball, two competitions that are sure to have their share of dramatics. Here is the The Jerusalem Post's documenting all the events that begin on Tuesday. Men's Basketball Basketball has solidified itself as a rapidlygrowing international sport over the past decade, and the Maccabiah is a perfect example of this booming trend. Ten teams have entered the open basketball tournament at the Games, ranging from France to Mexico and Germany to Brazil. Israel will look to use home-court advantage to claim a second consecutive gold medal, following up on its 2005 success. The Americans struggled in 2005, managing to earn just a bronze over Australia, which does not have a team in this year's tournament. France, Israel and the US will be the teams to watch. The US and France - 2005's silver medalist - are in the same group, along with Russia, Mexico and Argentina. Canada, Germany, Greece and Brazil accompany Israel in the other group. Preliminaries begin Tuesday at 3 p.m., with Germany versus Canada at Lev Hapark Hall in Ra'anana. The other three games Tuesday will be played at Aviv Hall, also in Ra'anana, starting with Greece against Brazil at 4 p.m. The US squares off against Mexico at 8 p.m in the most anticipated match of the night. Women's Basketball The women's field is smaller than the men's, comprised of just Canada, Israel and the US. But even though all three teams will medal, the competition should be fierce among these hoops-crazed nations. The US defeated Israel in 2005 for the gold medal, and given the relative lack of competition, there is a good chance the two will face each other again in the title game. The women's bracket kicks off 5 p.m. Tuesday, with Canada versus the US at Lev Hapark Hall. Track & Field The athletics meet is probably the most wideopen competition at the Maccabiah Games. The sport gives a voice and a chance to countries that are too few in number to field basketball teams or for countries who are unfamiliar with other sports, such as baseball. With entrants everywhere from Hungary to Venezuela, track and field is the epitome of Maccabiah's international presence. Most of the men's final events will be held Tuesday at Hadar Yosef in Tel Aviv: shot put, pole vault, high jump, 110 meter hurdles, long jump, 400 meter, 1,500 meter, 100 meter, 4 x 100 relay and 10,000 meter will begin, in order, at 6 p.m. About half of the women's final events will be completed Tuesday, also at Hadar Yosef. Those order of events, beginning at 6:30 p.m., are: 100 meter hurdles, shot put, hummer throw, 400 meter, 1,500 meter, 100 meter and 4 x 1000 relay. Netball With 2005 silver medalist South Africa out of the fray, this year's netball tournament is even more wide open for teams. Great Britain, Israel and Australia will all win medals, it's just a question of who will win which. Of the three, Israel was the only team not to medal in 2005, citing the lack of the sport's popularity as a reason for its struggles. Just three of the team's 12 players in 2005 were born in Israel. Australia will look to defend its gold medal, as it beat South Africa last Maccabiah, 64-37. Great Britain defeated Israel, 47-15, for the bronze medal in 2005. The tournament begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. with Israel going up against Australia at Hayovel Hall in Herzliya. Men's Volleyball Israel proved a force in 2005, taking the gold medal in both men's and women's volleyball. With silver medalist Ukraine not entering a team in this year's men's competition, the auditions to unseat Israel are open. The US and Brazil went to five sets in 2005, with the US winning the bronze and Brazil going home without any extra baggage. They could be the two teams to challenge Israel, with Canada and Germany also bringing strong squads. Bar-Lev Hall in Kfar Saba plays host to the tournament, with Canada and the US taking the court 1 p.m. Tuesday followed by Germany versus Israel at 5 p.m. Women's Volleyball A diverse field will make for an interesting and competitive tournament as five other teams will try to knock off defending champion Israel. All medal game participants from 2005 - Israel, silver medalist Brazil, bronze medalist the US and Mexico - return to competition this year. Italy and Canada are the other two teams, which are sure to put up a fight. Play begins at 11 a.m. in Kfar Saba at Bar-Lev Hall with a match between Italy and Brazil. Canada and the US square off at 3 p.m. and Israel faces Mexico at 7 p.m. Squash Israel was the dominating team in 2005's Maccabiah men's and women's squash medals. In the four medal games between men's and women's, six of the eight players were Israeli. This year's team matches begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Squash Center in Herzliya. Table Tennis Maybe you own a table tennis set (one that you probably refer to as a 'ping pong table'), and maybe you think it's an easy and fun game to play. But the Maccabiah table tennis tournament brings the upper echelon of these paddle-wielding players to the same arena - Bet Haloheim in Tel Aviv - for an intense battle. This tournament is not your simple match between friends in the basement. The tournament begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday with men's team play. Women's team action begins Wednesday at 3 p.m. Wrestling Russia, Israel and the US were the 2005 wrestling powerhouses, and not much should change for this year's Maccabiah games. Preliminaries begin Tuesday at 10:30 at Mekif Z High School in Ashdod, and Israel, Russia and the US are the teams expected to collect the hardware. The US took home 11 medals in wrestling in 2005, earning 10 of them by defeating Israel and one by beating Russia.