Star-studded line-up going for gold at Maccabi awards

September 15, 2011
Triathlon: Lara Nyman

Triathlon: Lara Nyman

The Maccabi GB Sports Awards take place in north-west London on September 25. In part two of our preview, we focus on the athletes shortlisted in the senior and team sections.


● SARA DAVIS (Triathlon)

Davis' triathlon history started in January 2007 following the birth of her first child, when she decided to embark on a new challenge and raise money for a charity through the London Triathlon. She has since gone from strength to strength, competing in numerous events across Europe as well as last year's Athens Marathon. Davis, 38, has been selected to represent Great Britain at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Long Distance World Championships in Las Vegas in November.

● DANIEL FIELD (Blind Cricket)

Rugby Union: Aaron Liffchak

Rugby Union: Aaron Liffchak

Last year's winner has represented England in seven more one-day internationals and a T20 international. This included the first floodlit blind international between England and Pakistan in the Sharjah cricket stadium in Dubai. He represented Great Britain against India in a four-match series. Field, 23, received the Spirit of Cricket award from the MCC. He has been selected for the England training squad for the Blind Ashes series in May 2012. Having amassed 30 caps, he is England's most capped blind wicketkeeper and has the most dismissals by any blind wicketkeeper in the world.

● DANIEL GRANT (Handball)

Ranked no.1 singles player and doubles player in the UK, as well as being European Champion and No. 1 in the doubles. Grant, 26, is the voluntary chairman of England Handball Association. He is also responsible for the construction of the UK centre of Handball Excellence.

● JON KURRANT (Futsal)

Kurrant, 22, was awarded the accolade of Player of the Year for Loughborough University Futsal Club. A series of excellent displays have led to a call up to the England Futsal squad and he hopes to be involved in World Cup qualifiers in December. Kurrant captained the England B squad against Sheffield and will be in Murcia, Spain for a preliminary warm-up game against El Pozo.

● NATHANIEL LANE (Track & Field)

A long and ultra-distance runner, Lane, 35, finished runner-up at the 10,000m in this year's Welsh Championships and third in the Welsh 10km Road Championships. He was selected to run for Wales in the 2010 Commonwealth UKTRA distance trial championship.

● AARON LIFFCHAK (Rugby union)

Captain of the British Zions at the 2009 Maccabiah Games, prop forward Liffchak, 26, plays for London Scottish a division below the Aviva Premiership. He was selected to play for England Counties against Ireland last season and named as tighthead prop in the National One Dream Team.

● LARA NYMAN (Triathlon/Cycling/Swimming)

Winner of the junior award in 2008, Nyman 19, and gone from strength to strength in three disciplines. She took silver at the ETU European Age Group Triathlon Sprint Championships in Athlone in July and came fourth at the ITU World Age Group Triathlon Sprint Championships in Budapest. Other notable achievements include a top five finish at the BUCS Swimming Team Championships, the BUCS cycling 10-mile TT Team Championships in the sub-25 minutes and in May 2011, she competed in the 11th annual Pissarro Great River Swim where she broke the course record on the way to gold.

● ADAM WARNER (Swimming)

Following a successful national swimming career that started 13 years ago, Warner, 21, decided to focus on Open Water competitions in 2011. However, he was still achieving in the pool where he became South East Region champion and Sussex champion. In the Open Water competitions, he won the Great North Swim two-mile race and the Great East Swim non-elite race. He also became the South East and South West 5K and 10K regional champion. His biggest achievement of 2011 saw him take bronze in the 5K and 10K at the Scottish National Championships.

● SAM WALEY-COHEN (Horse Racing)

Waley-Cohen, 29, has had an exceptional few months. In claiming the King George VI Chase title on Long Run, a horse owned by his father, Robert, in January, he prevented Kauto Star from winning the race for a record fifth consecutive year. He kept the winning streak going at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, beating Denman, Kauto Star and Imperial Commander to become the first amateur in 30 years to win the trophy. Waley-Cohen also finished runner-up at the Grand National on Oscar Time.



Managed by Jonathan Cohen and coached by Danny Berg, the GB squad came together 10 months before the European Maccabi Games in Vienna. The fledging team was rapidly building a name for itself amongst the top teams in the English National Futsal League. Convincing victories against several opponents saw the GB squad become recognised as one of the top 10 teams in the country. They came away with bronze in Vienna, producing some outstanding displays against teams packed with international and former professional players.


Winners of the Brent Futsal Competition, JFS showed great perseverance, team spirit and team work – winning the final after a penalty shoot-out. The team went on to win the Middlesex Futsal event in April, also on penalties, and will compete in the South of England competition.


Led by Dov Katz and Lee Vandermolen, the squad achieved its ultimate international success in Vienna. All 13 squad members brought home a medal - with the team winning three gold, three silver and three bronze - in a sport which has historically been one of the toughest to achieve success in.

Gold Medals:
Junior Team – Zak Zilesnick/Jack Josephs/Zachary Mandel/Ben Raine
Junior Doubles – Zak Zilesnick/Jack Josephs
Junior Singles – Zak Zilesnick

Silver Medals:
Masters Team – Ivan Lewis/Jeremy Banks/Ian Mablin/James Swede/Oskar Mencer
Men's Open Doubles – Eli Baraty/Ashley Stokes
Junior Doubles – Zachary Mandel/Ben Raine

Bronze Medals:
Men's Open Team – Eli Baraty/Ashley Stokes/Brian Wright/Robin Ashleigh
Masters Doubles – Ivan Lewis/Jeremy Banks
Junior Singles – Zachary Mandel

- together with second place in the Junior Singles plate (Jack Josephs) and third place in the Masters Singles plate (Oskar Mencer).

EMG Maccabi GB Table Tennis Squad
Co-chairs: Dov Katz, Lee Vandermolen
Team Manager: Dov Katz
Junior Team Manager: Stephen Gooblar
Table Tennis Team Co-ordinator/Administrator: Perry Katz
Adviser: Mel Davidson

Zak Zilesnick – England junior 5; 907 world rating points (men's); England men's 30
Jack Josephs – England cadet 78; England junior 188
Zachary Mandel – England cadet 107; England junior 239
Ben Raine – England junior 843

Eli Baraty – England men's 55
Ashley Stokes – England men's 61
Brian Wright – former Scottish international
Robin Ashleigh – England men's 444
Emergency reserve (not required): Dov Katz – England men's 116

Ivan Lewis – England vet No. 54
Jeremy Banks – on paper, top 100 England vet
Ian Mablin – England vet No. 315
James Swede
Oskar Mencer

Last updated: 10:29am, September 20 2011