When excellent results are accompanied by a sense of missing out, it’s a sign that Israeli swimming is doing well. That’s how it was on Thursday when Yigal Tumarkin finished fourth in the 200-meter backstroke at the European Short-Course Championship in Copenhagen. And that’s how it was on Friday night, when Gal Nevo came within a touch of the gold medal in the 400-meters individual medley final, shattering his own Israeli national record in the process.
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“I can’t be completely happy when I know how close I was,” Nevo told Haaretz. “I was slightly ahead only meters from the end. I’ve gone over the race in my head and know that I spread out my energy correctly. “
Nevo had been among the front three from the outset and came into the final leg just ahead of the field. He swam to the final line shoulder-to-shoulder with Hungarian David Verraszto, only to lose by a meager two hundredths of a second.
After six European Championship bronze medals − five of them over the shorter course and one in an Olympic-size pool − Nevo, 26, knocked 0.79 seconds off his national record, finishing in 4:03:50.
“Improving the record after it had stood for such a long time was more important to me than the medal – and at my age,” he gushed. “I was beginning to doubt I could do it, but I didn’t just shave a few hundredths of a second off the record, I cut almost a second off it.”
Last night, Nevo qualified for his third final of the championships, this time the 100-meter individual medley this evening, when the championship ends.
Also Saturday night, Amit Ivry missed out on a bronze medal by 0.47 seconds, finishing fourth in the women’s 100-meter individual medley.
Guy Barnea will compete in the 100-meter backstroke final today.