OCI picks Zubari to carry Israeli flag at London ceremony

Olympic c'tee chair Varshaviak confident Israel's athletes can come home from games with at least 2 medals.

Zvi Varshaviak 370 (photo credit: Courtesy/OCI))
Zvi Varshaviak 370
(photo credit: Courtesy/OCI))
Olympic Committee of Israel president Zvi Varshaviak said on Sunday he hopes the Israeli delegation will return from the London Games with at least two medals, while also announcing Shahar Zubari will carry the country’s flag at the opening ceremony.
Varshaviak was speaking at a press conference at Hadar Yosef in Tel Aviv after the OCI officially approved the Israel delegation to London, which will number 36 athletes.
The delegation could increase by one more sportsman or sportswoman, with Dima Kroyter and Anastasia Muchkayev being given the opportunity to book their place as an up-and-coming athlete in the European Athletics Championships, which get underway in Helsinki this Wednesday.
The OCI's list includes tennis duo Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich who will only learn on Thursday if they have been given an Olympic berth by the ITF.
“Today we ended a marathon we began three years ago when we announced our criteria for the London Games,” Varshaviak said.
While Israel will send six or seven athletes fewer to London than it did to Beijing four years ago, Varshaviak is confident the delegation can return with a greater medal haul than ever before.
Israel has won at least one medal in each of the past five summer Olympics, taking two in 1992 and 2004.
“I think that this is the best delegation, quality wise, Israel has ever sent to the Olympics,” Varshaviak said.
“This time we are hoping for more than two medals.
“In previous Olympics we hoped for two and usually won one, but this time I believe that we can return with three.”
According to the OCI’s estimation, at least six of Israel’s representatives have a good chance of winning a medal in London.
The OCI is especially proud of the fact that exactly half of the delegation is female, while over 50 percent of the athletes will be appearing in the Olympics for the first time.