Oren targets six medals at Euro Games


Israel are targeting medals in judo, gymnastics, athletics and swimming at the inaugural European Games, which begin in Baku today.

Danny Oren, who is the Director of the Elite Sporting Department of the Olympic Association of Israel, has high hopes for Israel’s largest-ever sports delegation, totalling 142 athletes.

"We expect to return home with between six to nine medals,” said Oren. “Anything less will be a disappointment.”
Yarden Gerbi is among Israel’s top medal hopes. She will be looking to add to the gold and silver medals that she won in the World Judo Championships under-63 kilogram category over the past two years.

Much is expected from track-and-field stars Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko and Donald Sanford. Knyazyeva-Minenko won bronze in the European Indoor Championships earlier this year, while Sanford was a bronze medallist in the 400 metres in last summer’s European Championships.

There are also high hopes in gymnastics with 2013 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in a high-class field. The rhythmic gymnastics team of Neta Rivkin and Victoria Filanovsky hope to push for a podium finish after placing fourth at last year’s World Championships.

Oren said: “In addition to the medals the games are important because they provide an opportunity for Israelis to meet the criteria and qualify for next summer’s Rio Olympics.”

Israeli winners of the triathlon, table tennis and shooting competitions will automatically qualify for Rio.

Oren said: “The games are in effect a dress rehearsal for next summer’s Olympics, when we expect to send a squad of 35 to 40 athletes."

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