Barnea and Shapira Bar-Or will compete in the 100 meters backstroke and 200m freestyle on Monday, and will need to improve their records to reach semis.
By ALLON SINAI
Guy Barnea and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or will enter the pool in Rome for the first time on Monday, hoping to become the first Israelis to reach a semifinal at these World Championships after a disappointing first day for the national team on Sunday.
Barnea and Shapira Bar-Or will compete in the 100 meters backstroke and 200m freestyle, respectively, and will both need to improve on their Israeli records if they are to reach the semis, as they did at last summer's Beijing Olympics.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Alon Mandel set a new Israeli record in the 50 meters butterfly but his time of 23.90 seconds was only good enough for 31st position out of 198 competitors, and was 42 hundredths of a second slower than the 16th and final qualifier for the semifinals.
Israel's other participant in the race, Nadav Kochavi, finished in 73rd position with a time of 24.74s.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day came in the women's 100m butterfly, where Amit Ivry fell well short of her personal best and a semifinal berth.
Ivry ended the event in 25th position with a time of 59.02s, which was a relatively long 52 hundredths of a second slower than the Israeli record she set just last week at the Maccabiah Games.
Seventeen-year-old Kristina Tchernychev of Israel finished in 37th with a new personal best of 1:00.32 minutes.
Tom Be'eri came nowhere near his Israeli record in the 100m breaststroke, touching the wall after 1:03.94m to finish 74th out of 142 racers.
Also Sunday, Anastasia Korotkov clocked the second fastest time ever for an Israeli woman in the 200m Individual Medley, but only finished in 40th place overall with her time of 2:17.79m.
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