Israel’s underperforming athletes have been told they have no excuses after failing to win a single medal.
Gili lustig, OCI sports Director, pulled no punches after admitting his team were just not good enough following a series of sub-standard performances.
Big names such as shahar Peer, Arik Zeevi and Lee Korzits all failed to deliver. Tennis ace Peer crashed out in the first round of the women’s singles, while Zeevi lasted 43 seconds of his opening Judo bout.
Windsurfing star Korzits, a three-time world champion, was left in an emotional wreck after blowing her hopes of a medal, slipping from silver to sixth in the final race
of the competition.
And Lustig was left similarly deflated after Israel’s athletes went home empty-handed. “It’s a great disappointment,” he said. “We wanted to win some medals, but it’s very difficult for us. We tried to do our best and the athletes gave their all. But it wasn’t good enough.
“I’ve asked our journalists to give young people in Israel hope. Not to destroy them. Our athletes tried their best. That is the important message.
“We need to get more kids playing sport. More money needs to be invested at grass-roots level. We had some very good achievements in London in swimming and artistic gymnastics.
“The biggest disappointments came in judo and sailing. We’re all to blame, the athletes and the coaches.”
OCI President Zvi Varshaviak expressed “extreme disappointment” and even flag-bearer Shahar Zubari, who won Israel’s only medal in Beijing, was left to rue a disappointing run in the windsurfing.
“I had a really rough week. My performance doesn’t reflect my true ability and it is a shame that this happened to me on the biggest stage,” he said.