Maccabiah / Swimmers en masse sink old records
Jason Lezak helped the American swim team set a Maccabiah record in the 4x100-meter relay yesterday, as several records were broken in the open competition. In the last race of the night, U.S. and Israel were neck-and-neck before Lezak blew away his opponent in the final lap to clock in at 3:21.1. On the women's side, Amit Ivri shaved 52/100ths of a second off the old record with a time of 58.50 seconds.
Other Maccabiah record-setters included Israel's Gal Nevo, who swam the 400-meter medley in 4:19.37; Israel's Amit Bachar, who completed the women's 400-meter medly in 4:57.15; and the U.S. women's team in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 3:53.5. Alon Mandel of Israel matched the Maccabiah record in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 52.99 seconds.
In other sports, the U.S. advanced to the semifinals in the open basketball tournament after previaling over Argentina 97-89. Despite the loss, Argentina also advanced based on its overall record, and today will meet Israel, which cruised past Canada 80-60.
Israel's netball team claimed the bronze medal after putting up a fight against Australia, falling 45-31.
"Israel has come leaps and bounds this tournament," said Israel's Jodi Carreira, who noted the team had been blown away by its opponents from down under 47-13 in the opener. Israel lost by just a point to Great Britain Sunday. "We were going to be a walkover and we surprised every team, so it's been amazing - amazing."
The soccer 17-18 boys semifinal match between Russia and Argentina was marred by a post-match brawl yesterday. After Russia won 2-1, according to Russian delegation chief Pavel Feldblum, the team went over to shake its opponents' hands. They were met with punches and water bottles in their face, he said.
"Of course, we didn't have any reason to heat things up after the win, but we encountered brutal behavior on behalf of the other side," stressed Feldblum. He added the Argentines almost hurt Boris Razinsky, the team's 76-year-old coach and U.S.S.R. goalkeeper for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
A representative for the Argentinian side could not be reached for comment, but Yaron Michaeli, spokesperson for the Maccabiah confirmed there was a fight. He said players from both sides would be required to appear before a disciplinary committee today.
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