Alon Mandel
Photo: Oren Aharoni
Shahar Tzuberi
Photo: Reuven Schwartz

Beijing: Swimmer Alon Mandel sets new national record

Mandel finishes fourth in qualifications, sets Israeli record at 1:59:27m. Sailor Shahar Tzuberi enjoys successful first meet, ranks first in individual sailboard race, gives Israel chance at medal

Israeli swimmer Alon Mandel set a new national record Monday at the Olympics men's 200-meter butterfly heat. Mandel finished fourth, with a time of 1:59:27m.


Mandel suffered a great personal tragedy on the eve of the Olympics, when his father died in a domestic accident. The grief-stricken swimmer decided to stay in the competition to honor his father's memory.


Also going strong was Israeli sailor Shahar Tzuberi, who finished first in opening sailboard race at the Beijing Olympic, putting him in a position to win an Olympic medal.


Tzuberi sailed board-to-board with the Chinese sailor, who held the lead until the third mark. Tzuberi was then able to skirt his opponent, taking – and keeping – the lead. The Chinese took second place, with third going to the Ukraine sailor.


Tzuberi's teammate, Maayan Davidovitz, ended the women's race in the 13th position.


Israeli sailing team, Udi Gal and Gidi Kliger, had a disappointing start in the Men's double-handed dinghy – 470 race. The two, who are one of the Israeli mission's best hopes for a medal, ranked 11th.


In other sports, Israeli fencer Delilah Hatuel was ousted for the medal race after loosing to Russia's Victoria Nishiki, 10:9. Hatuel, who suffered knee injury prior to leaving for Beijing, was eventually unable to defeat the reining world-title holder.


"I'm sad, but this loss has nothing to do with my injury," Hatuel told reporters. "I lost in a tight match."


The Israeli swim team's efforts to make it to one of the men's Olympic finales came to a respectable end on Sunday night, as both Nimrod Shapira-Bar Or and Guy Barnea were unable to make the cut: Shapira-Bar Or ranked 15th in the men's 200-meters freestyle; and Barnea settled for 16th place in the men's 100-meters backstroke.


On the shooting range, Israeli marksman Doron Egozy ranked 41 in the 10-meter air-pistol competition. Egozy is still in the running for the men's 50-meters rifle 3-positions competition.


Miki Sagui and Sa'ar Haas contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 08.11.08, 10:30
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