Israel’s Davis Cup tie in Chile still on

Ram stranded in Antofagasta due to quake; Chilean Olympic team withdraws from closing ceremonies.

Chile quake 311 (photo credit: AP)
Chile quake 311
(photo credit: AP)
Israel’s Davis Cup tie in Chile next weekend is set to go ahead as planned despite the massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country early Saturday.
The quake killed at least 147 people, collapsing buildings and setting off a tsunami. However, the International Tennis Federation has notified the Israel Tennis Association that the stadium in Coquimbo, where the matches will be played, was not damaged and that the tie will begin on Friday as scheduled.
Israel captain Eyal Ran, coach Noam Behr and players Dudi Sela, Harel Levy and Yoni Erlich were making their way to the capital Santiago from Dallas, Texas when the earthquake struck and their flight was diverted to Miami, Florida.
Andy Ram, who traveled to Chile separately, had his flight diverted to Antofagasta airport, 200 km from Santiago.
“The situation looks pretty bad here and I will probably have to spend the night here because unfortunately I can’t make any calls,” Ram wrote in a text message to the ITA.
“No one knows what’s going on and when we will be able to fly out of here. It’s sad that I have to experience this on my own. The things I’d go through to play for the national team!”
ITA CEO Moshe Haviv confirmed the tie is set to be played as scheduled.
“Most of the team is currently in Miami and we are looking for a way for them to get to Santiago on Sunday,” Haviv said.
“Andy will also make his way to the capital on Sunday. At the moment the tie will go ahead as planned.”
Meanwhile, athletes and coaches from Chile are planning to skip the Olympic closing ceremonies following the earthquake.
Team spokesman Luis Alberto Santa Cruz said Saturday morning that the athletes and coaches are trying to get home from Vancouver as soon as possible because of the quake.
Chile has three Alpine skiers representing the country at the Vancouver Games. Noelle Barahona, Maui Gayme and Jorge Mandru are all finished competing, so they won’t miss any remaining events.

Santa Cruz says that some of the coaches and athletes have been able tocontact family and so far, they have found out that their loved onesare fine.
The quake sent potentially deadly waves across the ocean and a tsunamiwarning – the highest alert level – was issued for Hawaii.
AP contributed to this report.