Israel's 2008 Olympic team: Allon Mandel

200m butterfly

allon mandel 224 88 (photo credit: Avi Sirota)
allon mandel 224 88
(photo credit: Avi Sirota)
Twenty-year-old Allon Mandel thought he had missed out on the Olympics after finishing the 200 meters butterfly race at March's European Championships in 13th position, one spot below the required 12th place. Mandel set an Israeli record of 1 minute and 59.79 seconds in the race and missed out on 12th place by two hundredths of a second. However, the confirmation two weeks ago that European gold medalist Ioannis Drymonakos had been punished for testing positive in a drug test, meant Mandel had after all met the criteria for the Games. Mandel, who trains year round the University of Michigan, isn't expected to progress past the heats at the Games themselves and as long as he sets a personal best his appearance at the Olympics will be regarded as a success.