Israel makes a splash at Rowing World Cup

Israel’s Paralympic coxed quad team won bronze at the Rowing World Cup in Poznan, Poland.


The team — made up of Shay-Lee Mizrahi, Barak Hazor, Achiya Klein and Simona Goren and coxed by Leah Sass — crossed the line in 7:30.23 minutes, behind winners the Ukraine and runners-up France.

Goren said: “This was the first major race for this crew at the current structure. There’s plenty to work on, but the sync and power distribution in the boat were good.

“We gave 100 per cent, producing our top performance yet and we’re looking forward to the World Championships in September in Florida.” Goren went on to say:

“There’s a long way to go in improving technique and time. The World Championships will be the most important event.”

The Israel squad trains alternately at the Gavirate Lake in Italy and at the Daniel Rowing Centre in Tel Aviv.

One of the crew members is IDF Lieutenant Achiya Klein, blinded in 2013 in an operation against Hamas terror tunnels at the Gaza border, near Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha. He started training as a high-performance athlete two years after his injury.

Dima Margolin, who coaches the Paralympic squad at the Daniel Rowing Centre, said: “The conditions were dire — winds, rain and cold — but that’s the sport, and we need to be prepared to fight in any situation.

“We raced the French and Ukraine teams last month in Italy and knew they were stronger, but we proved we’re closing the gap.

“Teamwork is improving, we’re aspiring for the Tokyo 2020 games, and much work is still required.”

Israeli rower Shmuel Daniel beat Polish champion Leszek Niewiarowski in the Final C, finishing 13th in the Men’s Paralympic Single Scull category.

Olympic medallist and world champion Moran Samuel withdrew from the event due to an elbow injury. She hopes to compete at the World Championships in Sarasota USA at the end of September.

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