Paralympics / London 2012 / Wheelchair tennis pair to fight for bronze
Itzhak Mamistavalov and Eyad Shalabi qualified for Tuesday's final of the 100-meter freestyle group 2 (for athletes with severe impediments) in front of a near-sellout crowd at the Olympic Park pool.
LONDON - Israeli wheelchair tennis pair Noam Gershoni and Shraga Weinberg lost their semifinal to the U.S. pairing David Wagner and Nicholas Taylor, the gold medalists from Beijing, 7-3, 7-6 on Monday.
The match, which lasted over two hours, was close throughout the second set, but the American pair's greater experience at this level eventually saw them through. Gershoni and Weinberg will play for the bronze medal today.
Meanwhile in the swimming pool, Itzhak Mamistavalov and Eyad Shalabi qualified for this evening's final of the 100-meter freestyle group 2 (for athletes with severe impediments) in front of a near-sellout crowd at the Olympic Park pool.
Shalabi, who has little use of any of his limbs, is deaf and dumb, and communicates with his coach Yaakov Beninson using sign language, finished third in his heat in a time of 2.25.55 minutes, and fourth overall.
Itzhak Mamistavalov finished second in the second heat in a time of 2.26.55, which ranks him fifth ahead of today's final. He was due to compete in group 1 for swimmers with more severe physical limitations, but because of the lack of competitors in that category, ended up completing against swimmers with lesser impediments than his. This makes Mamistavalov's - and his coach Noah Ram's - achievement even greater. The Chinese swimmer Yang Yang set a new world record of 2.10.47 during the heats.
Earlier in the day, swimmers Yoav Valinsky and Erel Halevy failed to reach the finals of their events. In the heat of 100-meters women's freestyle Group 7, 20-year-old Halevy, competing in the Paralympics for the first time, a time of 1.19.71, which placed her 10th overall.
Valinsky finished the Group 6 200-meter medley in 3.03.88, which placed him 11th in the overall standings.
A Ukrainian discus thrower was stripped of her Paralympic title for a second time yesterday after being told a day earlier she could keep the medal. Maria Pomazan claimed gold on Friday in the F35/36 discus before organizers realized they had made a mistake due to a scoring error and promoted China's Wu Qing from second.
On Sunday the Ukrainian was told she could keep the medal but it would not count toward her country's medal tally.