OCI chairman critical of team's performance

Says many competitors lacked "gleam in their eyes;" adds that funds should perhaps depend on accomplishments.

israel olympics team 224 (photo credit: AP)
israel olympics team 224
(photo credit: AP)
The Israel Olympic Committee (OCI) Chairman Tzvi Varshaviak criticized Israel's competitors in Beijing Friday, saying that some of them arrived too complacent and "without a gleam in their eyes." "We were disappointed," Varshaviak said during a press conference in the Chinese capital. "It seems we need to reward accomplishments more and give steady funds less." Varshaviak was mainly referring to those athletes of whom expectations had been high, possibly judoka Arik Ze'evi and sailors Udi Gal and Gidi Kliger. He said that the performances of the various athletes would be studied. "We'll check what happened to them." But the chairman said there were some positive aspects as well. "The full half of the glass is the young athletes," he stated, mentioning windsurfers Shahar Zubari and Ma'ayan Davidovich - the former winning a bronze medal and the latter reaching the women's finals. "They can get to London and will have more experience next time." Gilad Lustig, the director of Israel's Elite Sport Department, was less critical saying Israel's Olympians didn't do as well as was hoped and that their achievements, although "satisfactory" overall, were less than at the last Olympics in Athens. Lustig added though, that his "conscious is clean that everyone who got here deserves to be here."