Korzits and Shatilov could secure Olympic medals today

Stolen shoes, disqualification, and strong winds in London provided Israeli athletes with a challenging Olympic weekend in London.

Israel's Lee Korzits is on course to win the country's first medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games this afternoon.

Israel's Lee Korzits is on course to win the country's first medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games this afternoon.

Israel’s Lee Korzits and Alex Shatilov will set out to win the country’s first medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games this afternoon. Korzits has two more races in the windsurfing RS:X event preliminaries before the medal race while Shatilov is a finalist in the artistic gymnastics floor exercises.

Korzits was the highlight of Israel’s representatives in Friday and Saturday events in London. The 28-year-old windsurfer from Michmoret roared into first place in the eighth race of the RS:X event, improving her overall ranking to second.

The three-time world champion will compete in races nine and 10 this afternoon, starting at 14:00 Israel time. The medal race will take place on Tuesday.

“It was fun and I am very happy with the results of the day. I am now only three points away from the Spanish windsurfer,” Korzits said to Ynet following Saturday’s race.

At 16:00 Israel time today, Shatilov will hit the mats in the artistic gymnastics floor exercises competition.

The 25-year-old specializes in the floor exercise, for which he has won several medals at world and European championships.

“I’m here to win a medal. I won’t settle for anything less,” he said.

The weekend saw sailors Vered Buskila and Gil Cohen get off to a great start on Friday in the women’s 470 event, finishing their first race in third place. But a disqualification in the second race, a 10th place finish in the third race and 18th in the fourth race put them down at the bottom of the pack. Buskila and Cohen will set sail at 15:00 Israel time today from a 15th place ranking.

The waters off Weymouth gave the Israeli men’s 470 team a choppy weekend. Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela successfully sailed into second place in their fifth race on Saturday but overall stand at 11th after six races. They will return to the waters tomorrow (Monday).

Israeli shooter Sergey Richter was also off target over the weekend. After missing the finals by just one point in the 10-meter rifle event, the 23-year-old Richter finished just 44 out of 50 competitors in the 50m rifle prone event.

And finally, sprinter Donald Sanford had a weekend he’d prefer to forget. The Israeli-American 400-meter dash runner says his shoes were stolen moments before his qualifying heat.

Sanford clocked 45.71 seconds – his fastest time of the year – and finished fifth in his heat and 26th overall.

However, the Kibbutz Ein Shemer athlete told Israel’s Elite Sports Unit that someone absconded with his shoes and that instead of warming up with the rest of the competitors; he was squeezing his feet into fellow Canadian sprinter Daundre Barnaby’s shoes – on loan – before the race.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.