Sports Shorts

The Olympic Committee of Israel yesterday selected gymnast Alex Shatilov and judoka Alice Schlesinger as its athletes of the year for 2009. Both athletes each won a bronze medal at the World Championships this year. They will be awarded NIS 40,000. Sergei Weisberg, Shatilov's coach, also won a NIS 20,000 prize for being coach of the year. (Rami Hipsh)

Hapoel Jerusalem hosts Croatian club Zadar tonight in a contest coach Guy Goodes described yesterday as key to Jerusalem advancing to the next stage of basketball's Eurocup competition. "Zadar is perhaps the strongest team we have faced this season," he said. Zadar coach Zmagoslav Sagadin does not seem to share this sentiment. "I believe we and Jerusalem are playing for second place," he said, inferring that Aris Thessaloniki is the strongest team in Group C. (Uri Talshir)

Hapoel Haifa did not pose much of a threat in Bloomfield Stadium to host Hapoel Tel Aviv, which quietly won 2-0 to keep pace with Premier League leader Maccabi Haifa. Striker Itay Shechter scored the first goal in the 19th minute, breaking out after receiving a brilliant kick from Eran Zahavi. Some 15 minutes from the end of play, Avihai Yadin doubled Tel Aviv's lead with a bending 25-meter kick that fooled the Haifa defense. (David Marouani)