Disappointing Showings for Israeli Olympians in Day One of Rio Games

Israeli gymnast Shatilov and swimmers Nevo and Ivry fail to break into finals, despite historic first appearance by female swimming team.

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Israel's Alexander Shatilov performs on the horizontal bar during the artistic gymnastics men's qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016.
Israel's Alexander Shatilov performs on the horizontal bar during the artistic gymnastics men's qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. Credit: Julio Cortez, AP

Israel had a poor opening day Saturday at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, with its representatives in swimming, gymnastics and athletics failing to qualify for their respective finals, dashing the gold medal hopes of a number of Israel's most promising Olympians.

Still, the day ended well for Israel, with tennis player Dudi Sela making it to the second round of the Men's singles tourney after beating Damir Dzumhur 4-6, 4-6 in his first match of the games.

Gymnast Alex Shatilov failed to pass the qualifying round after attaining a 14.066 in the men's horizontal bar and a 13.5 in his floor exercise, with the latter considered to be his strong suit. His run was marred with small errors and ended with a poor landing in which the gymnast used his hand to break what might have been a fall.

In Judo, Israel, ranked 20th in the world, began with what seemed to be an impressive showing from Shira Rishoni in the Women's 48kg matchups. However, after only 2:10 minutes she was disqualified for touching Ukrainian Maryna Cherniak's leg in what was a disappointing loss for the clearly shocked Israeli in her first Olympic appearance.

Ukraine's Maryna Cherniak (white) competes with Israel's Shira Rishony during their women's -48kg judo contest match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 2016. Credit: Jack Guez, AFP

In swimming, Gal Nevo finished the Men's 400m individual medley after 4:18.29, ranking in 19th and failing to make the finals. His main target, the 200 individual medley, will take place on Wednesday.

Israel's Amit Ivry competes in a heat of the women's 100m butterfly during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Credit: Matt Slocum, AP

Amit Ivry will also not compete in the women's finals after finishing 27th, despite a 59.42 time in the 100 meter butterfly race after other swimmers outperformed her in other heats.

In the Women's 4x100m freestyle relay, Israel's delegation, which includes names like Ivry, Zohar Hen Shikler, Keren Siebner and Andrea Murez, made a historic first appearance in the games after the last minute disqualification of the Belarusian team. The team finished the heat in the eight place, failing to qualify with a time of 3:14.97.

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