Israeli Paralympians gear up for glorious Shabbat

By Jennifer Lipman, August 31, 2012
Inbal Pezaro celebrates her bronze medal

Inbal Pezaro celebrates her bronze medal

Israel's Paralympians will mark the first Shabbat of the Games with a Friday night service inside the Olympic Village.

The 25 athletes already have something to celebrate after swimmer Inbal Pezaro took home bronze in the 50-metre freestyle final on Thursday.

The 25-year-old, who has been paralysed since birth due to complications in her spinal cord, has been swimming for 20 years and has already completed in two Paralympic Games.

She won silver and bronze eight years ago in Athens and topped that with three silver medals in Beijing.

Whether or not the rest of the squad match her achievement, the chairman of Israel's Sports Association for the Disabled had high praise for the organisation of this year's Paralympics.

"We tried to get more tickets but all the tickets are sold out," said Daniel Ben-Abu. He said Beijing had been impressive but added that in London "everything is better".

"It's well-organised, and there was a beautiful welcome ceremony."

He also said that competing in London, given the legacy of Games founder Sir Ludwig Guttmann in transforming disabled sports in Israel, was special.

Last updated: 12:41pm, August 31 2012