An optimistic day at the Olympics for Israeli athletes as gymnast Shatilov hopes to secure Israel’s first medal and swimmers Toumarkin and Nevo advance.
Artistic gymnast Alex Shatilov could become a household name by this evening. Following judoka Alice Schlesinger‘s defeats yesterday in the U63-kg category to eventual gold-medalist Urska Zolnir of Slovenia and bronze-medalist Gevrise Emane of France, the hopes for Israel’s first medal have landed on Shatilov’s shoulders. “I’m very disappointed, I felt like I could win a medal and it ended like this,” Schlezinger told IsraelHayom. “At least I know I gave it all I had. I lost to the second and fifth ranked judokas in the world and we saw that even the top ranked [judoka] was eliminated. The crowd was amazing and gave me a huge push. It gives me motivation and the desire to make it to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.” The artistic gymnastic finals are one of the highlights of any Olympic Games and fans of the Israeli team are now even more excited for the event because there’s an Israeli competing. Shatilov has actually qualified for two finals – the floor exercise and today’s all-around competition. “In 2008, I was very young and I wanted to save my strength and energy for the real thing, which is, as far as I’m concerned, the floor exercise,” Shatilov told IsraelHayom. “But this time around I feel much more ready and prepared, so obviously I’m going to try in both finals.” Meanwhile, swimmer Yakov-Yan Toumarkin set a new Israeli record at the Olympics, stopping the clock at 1:57.33 minutes in the 200-meter backstroke. The 20-year-old will compete in the semifinals later tonight (August 1). Toumarkin, who is hailed as one of Israel’s rising swimming stars, finished third in his heat and eighth overall. He was the second Israeli swimmer to log a new national record – Amit Ivry set a new record time of 2:13.29 in the 200-meter individual medley on July 30. Swimmer Gal Nevo also made a splash in the pool today, advancing to the seminfinals of the 200-meter individual medley. Nevo took fifth place in his heat and 12th overall with a time of 1:59.56 minutes. Staying afloat and Israeli windsurfers Shahar Zubari and Lee Korzits are competing in races three and four today in their RS:X events. Korzits goes into today’s races in second place, while Zubari is currently ranked 10th. Sailor Nufar Edelman is competing in races five and six today in the Laser Radial contest. She is currently ranked 33 out of 41. Tennis doubles Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, who were supposed to compete yesterday against Switzerland’s top player Roger Federer and his doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka, are scheduled to play the match today.