At last, an Israeli rows at Henley

A champion rower is to become the first Israeli to compete in the Henley Royal Regatta.

Dani Fridman, 26, is taking part today in the Diamond Sculls race on Thursday following a special request from regatta chair Mike Sweeney.

Mr Fridman said: "It is a dream come true. Mr Sweeney saw me in action at the European Championship where I came sixth. The regatta is one of the most well regarded rowing competitions in the world and to be the only Israeli taking part makes me very proud.

"To be asked is a big thing. It means they regard you as one of the best."

The Diamond Challenge is a 2000m event on the Thames. It first took place in 1844. Mr Fridman will race against 14 others from different countries for a title won by Sir Steve Redgrave in 1985.

He said: "I don't want to come all this way to lose. I'm very excited to be in England. I love the culture behind the race. It's royal and very British."

Mr Fridman learned to row at 16 during a trip to the sea of Galilee.

    Last updated: 3:58pm, July 3 2014