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Olympics: What happened during the second week?

CM 31/07/2021

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 Israeli athletes got off to a wonderful start in the realm of athletics over the weekend to kick off the second week of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. 

In the Women’s 5000m Selamawit Teferi not only set an Israeli record running 14:53.43 but also punched her ticket to the final of the event which is slated to take place on Monday at 3:40pm Israel time. Teferi began slow over the first half of the race but picked up the pace over the final 2000m to finish 8th in Heat 1 which was good enough to advance to the coveted final round as none of the runners in Heat 2 were able to top the Israeli’s time. The 27-year old who was born in Ethiopia married Marhu Teferi who will be participating in the Men’s Marathon and are the first ever blue-and-white married couple taking part in an Olympics Games. Following Monday’s final, Selamawit will prepare for the 10,000m which will be run next Saturday.
Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko also booked her place in a final when she put up a distance of 14.36 in the Triple Jump marking the third time that the Ukrainian native will participate in the decisive round at the Olympic Games. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Minenko finished in 5th place with a jump of 14.68 while in 2012 when she was still representing Ukraine a distance of 14.56 was good enough for 4th place just shy of a bronze medal. The final round will take place on Sunday at 2:15pm Israel time as the 31-year old will look to finally reach the podium. 
“I needed to be mentally tough and it’s not simple,” explained Minenko following her jump. “I tried to do the absolute maximum and I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t make it. In the final I will have to take my chances and have no fear. It’s an Olympic final and I’ve got to give it my all.”
Also on Sunday artistic gymnast Artem Dolgopyat will be in the final of the Floor Exercise 11:00 as the Israeli will look to build off of his first place qualifying performance last week.

In the 100m Diana Vaisman ran a 11.27 good for 4th in her heat and 23rd overall, however only the top 3 runners in each one of the seven heats plus the best 3 times after that advance. Unfortunately for the Israeli, a number of runners in the top three of their respective heats ran slower than the 23-year old but due to the rules Vaisman came up just short in joining Teferi and Minenko in a final.
On the Judo mat 2016 Rio Games Bronze medalist Ori Sasson succumbed to 2-time Olympic Gold medalist Teddy Riner in his first bout of the competition via Waza-Ari. Over in the Women’s competition, Raz Hershko defeated Tahani Alqahtani from Saudi Arabia in her first bout but fell to Japan’s Akira Sone in the Round of 16. 
However, the big story was the fact that Hershko faced the Saudi Arabian who didn’t back out due to pressure not to face an Israeli Judoka. The Saudi Minister of Sport authorized that Alqahtani not withdraw after a pair of Judokas from Sudan and Algeria backed out of their matchup with Israeli Tohar Butbul. Following the bout, the two shook hands and raised them to the air in triumph of putting sports ahead of politics.
“I am happy that she competed against me and I am thrilled that politics stayed off of the mat,” Hershko said. “I shook her hand and I insisted that we do so as this isn’t something that should be taken for granted, that we faced one another despite the tremendous pressure on her.”
Over in the pool Aviv Barzelay swam in the semifinals of the Women’s 200m Backstroke but her time of 2:12.93 was only good enough for 15th place and didn’t advance to the finals. 
Andi Murez took part in the Women’s 50m Freestyle but her time of 25.48 landed her in 30th place and wasn’t good enough to move on to the next round. Meiron Cheruti just missed out of moving on in the Men’s 50m Freestyle with a time of 22.01, falling just .04 short of advancing to the semifinals. 
The Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay team of Anastasia Gorbenko, Andi Murez, Itay Goldfaden and Gal Cohen Groumi competed in the final of the event and finished in 8th place with a time of 3:44:77.
In Windsurfer RS:X, Yoav Cohen won the medal race on Saturday to come within one point of winning a bronze medal as a number of competitors were disqualified, however, Jun Bi of China finished fourth in the race to knock the Israeli out at the last second. In the women’s competition, Katy Spykachov ended her final race in 10th place and finished in 6th overall. 
Noya Baram and Schachar Tibi continued competing in Women’s Two Person Dinghy 470 and finished both race 5 and 6 in 11th place dropping them to 8th place overall in the competition. Shay Kakon also was in action in Laser Radial race 9 and 10 and had an exceptional day finishing in 2nd and 5th respectively to move up to 30th place overall. 
In Archery, Itay Shanny fell to Chih-Chun Tang of Chinese Taipei 6-5 in the Round of 16 and was eliminated from medal contention. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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