Ankier, Kyte and Bibring head GB charge at Jewish Olympics

June 4, 2009
True colours: Jo Ankier is on the gold trail at her first senior Maccabiah

True colours: Jo Ankier is on the gold trail at her first senior Maccabiah

Team GB have named David Kyte, Jo Ankier and Michael Bibring as flag bearers for the opening ceremony at the 18th Maccabiah Games.

The athletes will lead the 500-strong GB squad into the Ramat Gan Stadium, in front of the President and Prime Minister of Israel and 40,000 spectators. It is the first time that the British team has marched with three flags. The additional flag bearing the UJIA logo is in recognition of their sponsorship and support of the GB team and Israel.

Masters footballer Kyte, a leading businessman and community figure, will carry the Union Flag. Competing in his seventh Jewish Olympics, his career spans for over 30 years. He first attended the Maccabiah Games in 1985, reaching the quarter-finals with the Open football team. He went on to win bronze in 1993 in the Open futsal and most recently won silver medal in the Masters Futsal in 2005.

A founder member of London Maccabi Lions, a founding trustee of London Maccabi Recreational Trust at Rowley Lane, he is also a Trustee of Maccabi World Union.

Ankier is a former British record holder in the steeplechase. She won Maccabi GB Sports Personality of the Year in 2006 and hosted the event for Maccabi GB in 2008. Ankier started her Maccabi career running in the JCC Maccabi Games in the United States. She will be holding the UJIA flag and will compete in the half marathon and Track and Field events.

Bibring is a partner in the Alternative Hotel Group, owners of the De Vere and Village hotel brands. It was through this association that he arranged for every athlete in the GB team to have complementary membership of the Village Hotel health club in Elstree and Manchester for a period of six months to prepare for the games.

He played football for Wingate but will represent GB in cycling. Bibring will be holding the Maccabi GB flag.

David Pinnick, head of the GB Maccabiah Organising Committee, commented: “In David, Jo and Michael we not only have three fine athletes, but also three people who embody everything that is good about the Maccabi spirit. They have all supported the team in many ways beyond their participation and are a credit to our community.

“With the Games less than two months away our planning is at an advanced stage and the excitement of Team GB’s 500 participants is building. Many teams are now training several times a week and are dedicated to ensuring they give of their best in the ultimate arena.”

Last updated: 11:41am, June 4 2009