Swimming: Barnea dives back in; Nevo continues to sizzle in Rome

Israel's best chance of reaching a final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Rome will come on Saturday.

barnea 88 (photo credit: )
barnea 88
(photo credit: )
Israel's best chance of reaching a final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Rome will come on Saturday, when Guy Barnea races in the 50-meters backstroke heats, and hopefully semis. The Israeli team has been disappointing in the championships so far, with only Gal Nevo reaching a semifinal and swimming at his very best when it counted most. Barnea failed to reach the semis of the 100m backstroke earlier this week, but he entered the championships with the second best time in the world this year in the 50m back (24.64 seconds just behind Japan's Junya Koga's top time of 24.45s) and he will be hoping to reach Sunday's final with a good performance in Saturday's heats and semis. On Thursday, Nevo maintained his scintillating form in Rome, setting his fifth personal best of the championships. Nevo finished the 200m breaststroke in 40th position in a time of 2:15.49m, another excellent sign ahead of his main event of the championships, the 400m Individual Medley on Sunday. Tom Be'eri ended the 200m breaststroke in 36th place, touching the wall after 2:14.59m. Five more Israelis competed on Thursday, with none managing to break into the top 30 of their respective events. Anastasia Korotkov set a new Israeli record in the 200m breaststroke (2:30.17m), finishing in 31st position, with Yuliya Banach coming in 43rd place (2:33.95m). Kristina Tchernychev ended the 100m freestyle in 78th position (58.53s), with Itai Chamma (2:01.86m) and Ehud Segal (2:06.91m) finishing the 200m backstroke in 34th and 49th place, respectively. Also Thursday, Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or claimed that he suffered minor facial injuries after the national team's assistant coach Dima Ravinski struck him with a towel while sitting in the stands during Wednesday's races. The Israel Swimming Association denied the allegations. "Ravinski claims he never hurt Nimrod and the head of the delegation and team doctor who sat nearby also didn't notice anything out of the ordinary," an ISA press release read.