Amit Ivry became the first Israeli woman to reach the Olympic swimming semifinals when she swam her 200-meter medley qualifying heat in 2:13.29 minutes.
Ivry, 22, also set a new Israeli record with her morning performance, showing maturity and composure that compensated for her lack of experience in her first Olympiad.
The butterfly, Ivry's strong card, was the style for the first 50 meters. Her time for that stretch was not only the fastest in her heat but also the third best among all 16 semifinalists. She had the 12th best time in the heats.
Similarly in the evening, she led after 50 meters of doing the butterfly and stayed in the race through 150 meters. However, she faded in the final 50 doing free style to place sixth with a time of 2:13.31 minutes in the first semifinal and 13th overall.
Ivry's showing was a highlight for the Israeli swim delegation. She said after her heat that she was able to make her teammates smile.
"I missed out advancing to the next stage by a little bit in my first heat (100-meter butterfly)," said Ivry. "Today I proved to the entire Israeli nation and to myself, of course, that I can be among the best in the world."
Gal Nevo finished the men's 200-meter medley in 32nd place and did not advance to the semifinals. He won the first heat in 1:59.98 minutes, but the stronger swimmers were in the following heats, an improvement of 48 milliseconds over her previous record.
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