GB rower West takes silver

By Graham Morrison, August 18, 2008

Josh West, the only Jewish athlete in the Great Britain squad, helped the men's eight to silver in Beijing.

West, who was part of the men's eight who finished in ninth place in Athens, said: "We were out there racing for the gold, but silver is still amazing. It's a very different experience being out there at the top rather than at the bottom."

Originally from Santa Fe, USA, the 31-year-old, who helped Cambridge to two Varsity race victories, steered the team to a second place podium finish as they crossed the line behind Canada.

American swimmer Jason Lezak, who was the first Jewish athlete to win gold last, collected bronze medal in the 100-metre freestyle.

The 32-year-old, who is the oldest male swimmer to ever qualify for an Olympic team, said: "That's what's been driving me for the past four years since Athens. It definitely feels good."

Another American, Dana Torres, took silver in the women's 50m freestyle. The oldest oldest US swimmer in Beijing took her overall Olympic medal haul to including four gold, from previous Olympics the first being Seoul 1988. In Beijing, as well as the 50m freestyle, she won silver at both the 4 by 100 medley relay and the 4 by 100 freestyle relay.

Elsewhere, Israel's Vered Busquila and Nika Kornitzky finished fourth this morning in the 470 sailing.

Medal hope Shahar Zubari is also fourth. He had a disastrous run finishing 18th, 17th, 6th and 19th but finished first again in the ninth race. He has two races left.

Alexander Shatilov made history by becoming the first Israeli to reach an Olympic gymnastics final. He finished last in the men's all-round final.

Full story will appear in Friday's JC.

Last updated: 10:07am, August 19 2008