Cyclists claim first medal for GB

By Danny Caro, July 14, 2009

The cycling squad claimed Team GB’s first medal of the 18th Maccabiah Games after Danny Ackerman, Clifford Baker, Michael Bibring, Neil Lerner and Maish Weinstein secured silver in the time trials.

They beat teams from the USA, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Columbia and Venezuela in temperatures high into the 90s.

Team captain Clifford Baker said: "We had said it was anyone's race but we are delighted to have won a silver medal- the first Team GB has ever won in cycling. We showed spirit and tenacity cycling in temperatures which to be fair were well out of our comfort zone."


Maccabiah: Let the games begin

By Danny Caro in Ramat Gan, July 14, 2009

The evening skies of Ramat Gan were lit up by fireworks as the 18th Maccabiah Games Chai were officially opened at the National Stadium.

The 50,000 stadium was far from capacity but in the region of 8,000 competitors and officials made this the biggest ever Jewish Olympics.

It was all a far cry from the first Maccabiah in 1932. With Israel President Mr. Shimon Peres, and the PM, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, guests of honour, the two-hour spectacle opened with 200 illuminated bicyles entering the stadium.


Hakim helps GB make their point

By Danny Caro in Haifa, July 13, 2009

Open football: Team GB 1 Argentina 1

Team GB were forced to settle for a point in their opening group game against Argentina on Monday morning in Haifa.

A strike early in the second half from Paul Hakim was cancelled out by a 67th minute equaliser after the GB defence momentarily switched off.

Argentina looked the better team early on. They created a couple of chances with Guy Morris coming to GB’s rescue after some sloppy defending.

The South Americans were quick, skilful and physical, imposing themselves on the Brits in an early morning kick off at Ketzef Central.


Magic man Magid mauls Mexico

By Danny Caro, July 13, 2009

Masters Over 45 Futsal
Team GB 2 Mexico 1

Two goals from Mancunian Marc Magid helped Team GB come from behind to claim a first match win over Mexico at Zisman Hall in Ramat Gan.

Dan Collins' troops fell behind through a well-taken goal in the first quarter.

GB keeper Phil Caplin kept the team in the game with a string of brave and agile saves.

Magid was in the right place at the right time to draw GB level towards the end of the first half.

The half finished with Gideon Barnett shown a yellow card following an altercation with a Mexican who was also cautioned.


GB caught by Aussie sucker punch

By Danny Caro in Haifa, July 13, 2009

Ladies Open Football
Team GB 0 Australia 1

Team GB's Ladies Open football's medal hopes were dealt a blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Australia at Ketsef Central in Haifa on Monday morning.

Having dominated the match for spells and hit the woodwork twice, GB came unstuck by a well-worked Australian goal midway through the second half.

GB settled first with striker Chelsea Berlin a constant threat. Her shoot-on-sight policy kept the Aussie keeper on her toes.


Katz gives GB a flying start

By Danny Caro in Netanya, July 13, 2009

Team GB 16 Australia 6

Fly-half Sam Katz enjoyed a dream debut with an 11-point haul steering Team GB to an opening day win over Australia at the Wingate Institute in Netanya.

The London Welsh teenager kicked three penalties and a conversion as GB made the perfect start in the Ashes clash.

A cagey first half saw Australia take the lead with a penalty which came after two missed efforts. They held their lead until the break.

GB raced out of the blocks in the second half, picking up the tempo and taking the game to the gold and green.


Young guns to fly the flag

July 9, 2009

Team GB have named Talya Curtis, Joel Barnett, Richard Goodman and Jemma Lawrence as junior flagbearers for the opening ceremony at the Maccabiah Games.

Selecting junior athletes to combine with the half marathon star Jo Ankier, Masters footballer David Kyte and triathlete Michael Bibring at Ramat Gan on July 13.


Global stars battle it out to be king of the castle

July 9, 2009

Chess enthusiasts will be treated to a master class during the Maccabiah with exhibition matches involving Grandmasters Boris Gelfand, Judit Polgar and Pavel Eljanov at the Richard Riordan International Festival.

Some of the world’s most prominent players will join the legends at the Blue Bay Hotel in Netanya where the super tournament featuring 12 elite Grandmasters takes centre stage.


Seven-time veteran says it’s all in the Game

By Danny Caro, July 9, 2009

The term legend is regularly misused in the world of sport. But in Jewish terms, the evergreen Pete Lazard believes that if the cap fits, he can wear it.

But while the scale of the Games — the third largest sporting event in the world — has reached new heights this year, Lazard believes that it has become a case of quantity rather than quality.

“From the quality, kudos point of view and profile, I think the publicity in Israel is much lower key than it was when I first went,” he said.


Competitors touch down for Maccabiah

By Danny Caro, July 8, 2009

Athletes have been arriving in Israel in their droves ahead of the 18th Maccabiah Games Chai.

The 500-strong British delegation was one of the first to arrive with some junior competitors flying out on Monday.

The majority of the Open participants landed on Tuesday while the Masters are scheduled to depart on Friday.

There was heartbreak for Team GB Masters futsal player Ollie Olsen. He suffered a fractured collarbone in the squad’s final training session last Sunday.