Israel gets set for 2012 Games

By Jessica Elgot, March 17, 2011
Follow Jessica on Twitter
Zvika Vershaviak, president of the Olympic Committee of Israel, with British ambassador Matthew Gould, Efraim Zinger, the OCI’s secretary general and International Olympic member Alex Gilady, in Tel Aviv

Zvika Vershaviak, president of the Olympic Committee of Israel, with British ambassador Matthew Gould, Efraim Zinger, the OCI’s secretary general and International Olympic member Alex Gilady, in Tel Aviv

If you want to see the best Israeli athletes in action at the London 2012 Games, judo, gymnastics, shooting and watersports are the ones to watch, according the country's Olympic committee.

Applications for tickets for the 2012 Olympics were released this week. Efraim Zinger, the secretary-general of the Olympic Committee of Israel said: "Every country we go to, we try to get the Jewish community there involved."

The plans are still being finalised for the team's stay in Britain, but Mr Zinger said only the swimming team will do pre-training in the UK. Top of the shortlist for training venues is believed to be the new Olympic-sized pool in Corby, Northamptonshire.

He said: "Obviously we still don't know how many of our athletes will qualify but we expect to send about the same as we sent to the Beijing Games in 2008, around 40 athletes."

Israeli Paralympic athletes do very well in Games

Mr Zinger said: "The 2012 games are a very special year for Israel. It's 60 years since the first Israeli Olympic delegation at the Helsinki Games, it's 40 years since the massacre at the Munich Olympics and 20 years since we won our first gold medal."

He said a commemoration event would take place during the games for the 11 athletes who were murdered in the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972. The memorial is being organised by the team, the Israeli Embassy and the UK Jewish community.

Windsurfer Shahar Zubari claimed Israel's only medal at the last games.

Israel has always been traditionally more successful in the Paralympic Games, having won a total of 113 medals compared with 13 in the Olympics overall. This week the Paralympic swimming team won three gold medals at the Denmark Open. Around 70 per cent of the athletes competing in the Paralympics are war wounded or victims of terrorism.

Ticket applications for the 2012 Paralympics do not open until September.

    Last updated: 12:32pm, March 17 2011