Maccabiah 2017: Team GB are record breakers

Team Maccabi GB come home from Israel with a suitcase full of medals


Team Maccabi GB flew home in triumph from Israel this week after smashing their previous medals record of 24, from four years ago.

General manager Joel Nathan was ecstatic after his team collected an astounding 37 medals, including a dazzling six golds, plus five more medals from GB competitors in
composite events, where countries join forces to make up a team.

There might have been bitter 
disappointment on the last day when Team GB lost all four finals they 
contested — the open men’s football, the junior and open netball finals and the women’s Masters tennis.

But Nathan, paying tribute to his delegation of 385 athletes, coaches and managers covering more than 30 sports, said: “Overall these games have been an over-riding 
success. There are times in life which will stay with you forever and I will never forget these past 16 days.

“And while there are so many highlights, seeing Eden Davis winning the 100 metres being one of them, the opening ceremony was without doubt the most special.

“Marching into Teddy Stadium with the squad and seeing all their 
families and supporters in the stands was priceless.

“There are so many people to thank, from the managers, coaches, medics and, of course, the athletes.

“Every single competitor has done themselves, their families and the Jewish people of Great Britain proud.

“I have been involved with a few Maccabiah squads and without doubt this was the best squad spirit I have ever encountered.”

Junior judo boy Jonah Alfert had the honour of winning the team’s first medal, a bronze. And from then on the medals flowed with Masters fencer Nick Lakeland then collecting a gold in the composite foil final.

The athletics brigade were in 
brilliant form, with junior star Eden Davis snapping up golds in the 100m and 200m.

David Stone, the 3000m 
runner took gold, and senior team-mate and track and field squad manager Ellie Edwards collected a 200m gold, then added a silver 100m and a composite relay bronze.

Emma Garber was the team’s 
wonder woman. She took a gold with her strength in the “Maccabi Woman” — a female Iron Man- style event — and another in the open water swimming, conquering the Sea of Galilee. She added a bronze in the triathlon.

Ewan Taylor’s bronze in the 50m 
freestyle was GB’s first individual swimming medal in 25 years. But there was agony for both the open men’s football and cricket teams and both the open and junior netball teams, who all made the final of their competitions only to fall at the last hurdle and each settle for silver.

Another to suffer disappointment was Diana Gold after a narrow defeat to a South African opponent 6-4, 4-6, 7-10 in the masters tennis.

Both netball teams were beaten in their final by Australian opposition, the open girls losing 39-28 and the juniors 51-27, while the footballers’ 56-year wait for a gold goes on.

They crashed 3-0 to the USA in Ramat Gan after going down to 10 men with a player sent off after only 22 minutes.

Striker Jake Rozhansky did the 
damage for the USA, scoring a hat-trick.

Meanwhile, the cricketers were defeated by 19 runs after falling short of South Africa’s target of 146.

Their silver medal — their first in 32 years — was an upgrade on the bronze they collected four years ago.

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