Lawn Bowls / Atlantic Rim Tournament / Israel Women Close in on World Championship Berth

Israel moved a step closer toward qualifying for the World Championship earlier this week.

Israel moved a step closer toward qualifying for the World Championship earlier this week when its triples team of Tami Kamzel, Naomi Fix and Irit Grenchel took the silver in the 16-nation Atlantic Rim Tournament in Ireland.

Israel's final overall standing in the combined tally of points in the four disciplines of singles, pairs, triples and fours will determine whether or not it will be included among the 24 nations in the next quadrennial world championships in 2008 in New Zealand.

The top 12 countries from last year's world championships gain automatic entry, while entry of the next 12 depends on respective overall log slots at the Atlantic Tournament.

These remaining slots are divided between Asia, Africa and Europe. Israel, which just missed out on qualifying after finishing 13th overall at the last world championships, needs to finish in the top two among the European zone nations competing at the tournament - Guernsey, Spain, Holland, Portugal and Canary Islands.

As well as looking for a world championship berth, Israel will be out to improve on its last at the Atlantic Rim Tournament in 1999 when it finished 11th out of 16.

Although Israel's pairs team failed to advance beyond the group stage, success in the trips means that Israel, together with Spain, is well ahead of challenger for a World Cup spot in the combined points tally.

Back from the edge

For the triples, it was an outstanding fight back from the brink of elimination. With two initial wins against Wales and the Canary Islands, the Israelis fell to Ireland, Jersey and South Africa, to face their two last rounds against Holland and the United States.

One more defeat would have spelled disaster, but with a one-point win against Holland, the team followed with a 43-3 win against the Americans to qualify for the quarterfinal knock-out rounds.

The team then beat favored Scotland and Jersey in the semifinal, before losing 20-8 to England in the final. Jersey beat Wales 14-13 for the bronze.

Israel's pairing of Ruthie Gilor and Edna Zomberg lost to Spain, England, South Africa and Wales, while their three wins against Portugal, Jersey and the United States were not enough to qualify for the knock-out rounds. The pairs title went to South Africa, which beat Scotland in the final 22-12, with the bronze going to England, which beat Spain 16-12.

The start of singles and fours starts today.

Ruthie Gilor will play in the singles with her main opposition from England and Jersey, while Canada, the U.S., Guernsey, Holland and the Canary Islands will compete in her section. The other singles section includes South Africa, Wales, Scotland, and world champion Ireland with present Atlantic singles title holder Margaret Johnson.

Ruthie Gilor will be playing the singles, and has shown herself capable of beating the best , as she did in last year's world championships where she finished 6th out of 29.

In each 8-up round robin sections, the top four qualify for the knock-out rounds, and Gilor's main opposition could be from England and Jersey, with Cananda, United States, Guernsey, Holland and Canary Islands also in her section.

The other singles section will see challenging contests between South Africa, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland's world champion, and present Atlantic singles title holder, Margaret Johnson.

Tami Kamzel skips the fours with her clubmates Naomi Fix and Edna Zomberg and Haifa's Irit Grenchel. Their main competition should come from South Africa, England and Jersey.