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Michael Kolganov yesterday advanced as expected to the semifinal of the 500-meter kayak competition, winning his heat with a time of 1:38.40. Then again, 27 of 29 athletes qualified for the semis, making the preliminary round more of a warm-up. His time was 13th among all participants.

Tomorrow, the semis will be conducted in three heats, and Kolganov will have to finish in the top three among nine athletes to book a spot in the final.

The kayaker will compete today in the semifinal of the 1,000-meter category, which is his weaker card. He is not expected to finish in the top three, and if he did so, it would be a surprise. Hopefully, he will keep his strength for the 500-meter, the category in which he earned a bronze medal in Athens.

Welcome to the Top 10

Ma'ayan Davidovich yesterday became Israel's first female surfer to finish in the Top 10 at an Olympiad. She only qualified in her last opportunity before Beijing and now moves on to the medal round of the Neil Pride RS:X. "The truth is I could have done better," said Davidovich. "There were some races in which I wasn't good, but I'm still happy to be in the medal round."

Davidovich finished just ahead of Bulgarian Irina Bontemps, the wife of France's Julien Bontemps, who is currently holding third place in front of Shahar Zubari in the men's RS:X standings.

In previous Olympiads, Michal Hein, the oldest member of Israel's 2000 Sydney delegation, finished 14th, while Lee Korzits, who came into the 2004 Athens Games a world champion, placed 13th.

Duo ducks out

The duo of Anastasia Gloushikov and Inne Yoffee yesterday could only muster 15th place overall in the free-style preliminary of the synchronized swimming competition, failing to advance to the medal round. At Athens, the team finished 17th.