Swimming: Gostomelsky, Livnat still chase Olympic spots

The two Israelis fail to advance to the semifinals of their events at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Melbourne.

Gostomelsky 88 (photo credit: )
Gostomelsky 88
(photo credit: )
Exactly 500 days before the 2008 Olympics begin in Beijing, two of Israel's finest swimmers missed a chance to book their places in next summer's Games. Anya Gostomelsky and Shay Livnat failed on Monday to advance to the semifinals of the 100-meter backstroke and the 200-meter freestyle, respectively, at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Melbourne and fell short of the Olympic Committee of Israel criteria for the Beijing games. Gostomelsky clocked a time of 1 minute 3.44 seconds in Monday morning's 100m backstroke heats, which placed her 31st out of 86 competitors. Only the top 16 advanced to the semis, leaving Gostomelsky well short of Olympic qualification. Livnat finished the 200m freestyle in one minute 50.6 seconds, and finished 33rd. The best Israeli performer of the day was Guy Barnea, who came in 19th overall in the 100m backstroke after clocking a time of 55.88 seconds. Ehud Segal completed the exact same race in 56.73 seconds and finished 29th. On Sunday Gostomelsky and Amit Ivri both broke their personal best times to finish in 1:00.37 and 1:01.22, respectively, in the 100m butterfly, placing them 25th and 36th. Livnat then swam a time of 3:58.53 in the 400m freestyle, good enough for 37th. In the 50m butterfly event, Barnea and Itai Chama both achieved new personal bests by swimming 0:24.77 and 0:26.07, respectively, placing them 41st and 78th. Tom Beeri and Miki Malul were the last Israelis to race for the day, and both recorded 1:03.72 in the 100m breaststroke to tie for 47th. Ilan Herzberger, Jerusalem Post correspondent in Melbourne, contributed to this report.