Israel’s leading female swimmer will now have to wait a little longer before she books her flight to London.
By ALLON SINAI
The World Championships in Shanghai got off to a disappointing start for the Israeli delegation on Sunday, with Amit Ivry swimming well short of her best and failing to set the criteria for the London Olympics.The 21-year-old finished the women’s 100-meter butterfly heats in 24th position with a time of 59.56 seconds, more than a second slower than her Israeli record of 58.21s.Ivry would have comfortably qualified for the semifinals and secured her place in next summer’s London Games had she repeated her season-best time of 58.64s.But it just wasn’t Ivry’s day, and Israel’s leading female swimmer will now have to wait a little longer before she books her flight to London.Gal Nevo also began his meet on Sunday, finishing 45th overall in the 100m breaststroke heats in a time 1:02.32m.Despite his lowly position, Nevo will be encouraged by Sunday’s performance.He improved his personal best by 78 hundredths of a second, which will give him confidence ahead of his main events later in the week, the 200m individual medley on Wednesday and the 400m IM in the final day of the championships next Sunday.AdvertisementNevo’s race was overshadowed by a political incident after Iran’s Mohammad Alirezaei refused to swim alongside the Israeli.Three years ago the Iranian failed to show up for the 100m breaststroke heats in the Beijing Olympics when he was supposed to swim against Israel’s Tom Be’eri.Alirezaei’s actions were made to look especially petty by Syrian Azad Al-Barazi, who separated politics and sports and raced against Nevo.
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