Olympics update

By Graham Morrison and Simon Griver, August 12, 2008

American fencer Sada Jacobson became the first Jewish medallist of the Beijing Olympics after taking silver in an all-American final against defending champion Mariel Zagunis.

Shahar Peer bowed out in the second round of the women's singles. Having beating Romanian Sorana Cirstea in round one, she succumbed to ninth seed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6.

Fellow Israeli Tzipi Obziler received a late call-up into the women's singles after replacing injured top seed Ana Ivanovic. She lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 against Mariya Koryttseva of the Ukraine.


Americans pool their resources

August 7, 2008

Garrett Weber-Gale believes America have assembled their strongest ever swimming squad for the Beijing Olympics.

The 22-year-old from Wisconsin is one of four Jewish swimmers in the US team. Along with Jason Lezak and Ben Wildman-Tobriner, the male trio have been nicknamed the "Three Chaverim" with Wildman-Tobriner and Weber-Gale branded the "hyphenated Jew crew". As well as battling it out for medals in individual events, they are expected to make up three-quarters of the 4x100 freestyle relay team.


Tall story of British Olympic rowing hopeful

By Graham Morrison, August 7, 2008

In the absence of steeplechaser Jo Ankier, 6ft 9in Oxford-based rower Josh West is the only Jew competing for Team GB in Beijing

Originally from Santa Fe, USA, West, 31, started rowing aged 17 as a fresher at Yale. While there, taking geology and international studies, he competed in the Harvard/Yale race.

However, he decided to continue his studies at Cambridge, and went on to take part in four Oxford/Cambridge boat races, being on the winning crew in 1999 and 2001.


Chinese say no to fishballs

By Simon Round, July 31, 2008

Last week we reported that due to government restrictions, kosher food could be thin on the ground come the start of the Olympics.

However, kosher athletes will have somewhere to go. Beijing's only kosher restaurant, Dini's, has stockpiled 7.5 tons of kosher beef and nine tons of chicken and plans to open 24 hours a day.

Chinese diners have been curious about the restaurant, and given their lack of squeamishness about eating any part of any animal, one would imagine they would be adventurous eaters.


Jo Ankier fails Olympic bid

By Danny Caro, July 24, 2008

Ankier feels ‘cheated' as selectors tell her that she was four seconds too slow

Jo Ankier has spoken of her pain and devastation after missing out on selection for the Great Britain squad competing at next month's Beijing Games.

The 25-year-old from Edgware, Middlesex, was pipped to the post by Hattie Dean, who will team up with Helen Clitheroe and Barbara Parker in the Team GB 3,000 metres steeplechase squad.


Max Jaben's drug shame

July 24, 2008

Max Jaben looks set to be omitted from Israel's Olympic squad after failing two drugs tests.

The US-born swimmer, 22, tested positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone. He denies taking the drug and is awaiting a decision from the Israel Swimming Association.

"I'm extremely upset," he said. "I cannot believe that this happened."


Ankier's Olympic bid fails

July 21, 2008

Jo Ankier has missed out on selection for next month's Olympic Games in Beijing.

The 25-year-old from Edgware, Middlesex was pipped to the post by Hattie Dean, who will team up with Helen Clitheroe and Barbara Parker in the Team GB squad.

Ankier, who achieved one A standard GB Olympic qualifying time, has lodged an appeal over her exclusion as Dean, who ran qualifying times in 2007 and 2008 but was unfit for the recent Olympic trials, is currently out with a stress fracture of the tibia.


Ankier sweats as Olympic place hangs in balance

By Danny Caro, July 17, 2008

Jo Ankier will find out tomorrow whether or not she has made the British Olympics squad competing at the Beijing Games next month.

The 25-year-old finished third in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at the Aviva National Championships at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

Before the race she believed that a top-three finish would cement her place in the team for the only major competition she has not taken part in, but this may not now be the case.


Olympic hope fails drugs test

By Simon Griver, June 27, 2008

Israel’s top medals hope may be unable to compete in Beijing in August after the sailor failed a drugs test.

Udi Gal, who hopes to compete alongside Gidon Kliger, had two random samples taken by Israel’s Olympic Committee in May which showed traces of the banned substance Finasteride. The  29-year-old claims that he took the medication Propecia, which he did not realise contains Finasteride, to combat hair-loss.


Ankier’s Olympic dream almost a reality

By Danny Caro, June 6, 2008

Jo Ankier moved a step closer to realising her ambitions by achieving the British Olympics qualifying standard time at a race in Belgium on Saturday.

Fresh from a month of altitude training in Flagstaff, Arizona, the 25-year-old crossed the line at the Night of the Euros 3,000 metres steeplechase in 9:43:88, one tenth of a second inside the time set by the British Olympics Association to make her one of just two British runners to have achieved the required standard.