Sport news

Bomb scare halts Shahar Peer

By Danny Caro, January 5, 2010

The Auckland Classic women’s WTA event was halted when police were forced to evacuate the stadium after a bomb scare amid anti-Israel demonstations.

Play on Tuesday was halted after the alarm as a small group picketed the event.

Protesters denied any link to the scare and police said they had found the owner of an unattended bag that sparked the evacuation, and that normal procedure had been followed.

Play recommenced 20 minutes later after the all-clear was given. The scare delayed the appearance of Israel's Shahar Peer, who went on to beat Slovenian Polona Hercog.


Iran official resigns over Israel email

By James Martin, January 4, 2010

One of Iran’s top sports officials has resigned after his emailed New Year’s greetings to members of world football’s governing body was mistakenly forwarded to Israel’s football federation.

Mohammad Mansour Azimzadeh Ardebili sent the message through the sport’s governing body, FIFA. It was intended to go to all FIFA members except Israel, but was reportedly forwarded to the Israel Football Association, too.

Ardebili was a spokesman for the Iranian Football Federation (FFI).


Gershfield inspires Wingate

By Paul Lerman, January 4, 2010

James Gershfield helped Wingate & Finchley put a bad week behind them with a thumping 4-0 victory over lowly Leyton in the Ryman League Division One North.

In a match dominated by the Blues, Gershfield, who came on at the start of the second half, scored one and terrorised the Leyton defence with a display that typified his Maccabiah Games selection last summer.

In a win that lifted Wingate into ninth in the table, the first chance fell to Jake Furman but from 10 yards, he sliced his shot wide.


Ben Sahar returns to Israel to do army duty

December 30, 2009

Israeli international Ben Sahar has returned to Israel to begin his IDF service.

The 20-year-old striker, who plays for La Liga club Espanyol, began his army career as a youth motivational speaker this week.

He will be allowed to complete his service during his holidays in Israel, over a number of years, thanks to a change in army rules that allows “gifted athletes” based abroad to do their service over a longer period of time.


Pole vaulter to become Israeli citizen

By Brian Sacks, December 30, 2009

Pole vaulting

American pole vaulter Jillian Schwartz — who competed for the USA in the 2004 Olympics and won gold in this year’s Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv — has become an Israeli citizen.

Schwartz, 30, aims to compete for Israel in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Schwartz appeared at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but didn’t reach the final. That same year, she became the fifth American woman to clear 15 feet and placed fourth at the indoor world championships in Hungary.


Arik Shivek to share Israel role

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Arik Shivek was yesterday announced as the new coach of Israel’s men’s basketball team, after the Israel Basketball Association allowed him to take up the role in a part-time capacity.

The 53-year-old, who agreed personal terms with the IBA last week, is currently the coach of Belgian club Dexia Mons-Hainaut, a position he will continue to hold as Israel boss.

His appointment was approved by IBA’s professional committee on Monday and he was officially named as Tzvika Sherf’s replacement when the IBA board ratified the decision yesterday.


Nir Klinger sacked from Limassol club - because of Yom Kippur?

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Nir Klinger has been sacked as coach of Cypriot club AEL Limassol, amid speculation that the club has been looking to get rid of him ever since he missed a crucial derby match because it fell on Yom Kippur.

The 44-year-old and his assistant, fellow Israeli Felix Naim, missed September’s match against Anorthosis Famagustas for religious reasons after the club’s attempt to move the game failed.


Avram Grant's anger at African Cup losses

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant has expressed anger at losing four key men to the African Cup of Nations.

He is without Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda, Nwankwo Kanu and Aruna Dindane until as late as the start of February when the tournament is completed. He is relieved that John Utaka and Kevin-Prince Boateng were not called up by Nigeria and Ghana respectively.

Speaking after the Boxing Day 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham, he said: “I don’t know why FIFA allows this tournament to go ahead in January. We pay a lot of money to big players who are not here for two months.”


Peer on top at Ra'anana

By James Martin, December 30, 2009

Shahar Peer and Dudi Sela underlined their dominance of Israeli tennis by winning their respective Israeli championship titles in Ra’anana last weekend.

World number 29 Peer comfortably disposed of Julia Glushko (320), 6-3, 6-0, while Sela (43) lifted his first national title since 2006 with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Amir Weintraub (576).

Peer, who won her sixth national championships and her fourth in a row, insists that she is attempting to surpass Tova Epstein’s record of eight in a row, achieved between 1965 and 1972.


Jewish sports person of the decade

December 23, 2009

We want to hear who you think was the greatest Jewish sports person of the decade.

Perhaps Israeli football icon Yossi Benayoun for his consistent brilliance in both La Liga and the Premier League, or Arik Ze’evi, three-time European judo champion and Athens Olympics gold-medal winner in 2004;

Tennis star Andy Ram, the first Israeli to win a Grand Slam, at the Australian Open in 2008?

Or maybe American swimmer Jason Lezak who has won gold medals at both the summer Olympics and Maccabiah.