Donald Sanford is well placed to win a medal in next week’s European Athletics Championships in Zurich after running an Israeli record of 45.53 seconds in the 400 metres in Belgium.
Having achieved one of the fastest times in Europe this year, US-born Sanford shaved 21 hundreds of a second of the previous record. His personal best is 45.23 seconds achieved before he received Israeli citizenship after marrying his wife Daniella
Sanford finished fourth in the European Athletics Championships in Hungary two years ago and embarrassingly he failed to qualify for the semi-finals in the London Olympics when his shoes were stolen before the heats.
Ten athletes will represent Israel in Zurich, with Sanford the best medal prospect along with women’s triple jumper Hanna Knyazeva-Minenko. She finished fourth at the London Olympics, representing Ukraine, and sixth at last summer’s World Athletics Championships after marrying an Israeli and taking citizenship.
The Israel squad also features marathon runners: Bavaba Brahon, Yamaharan Yosef, Amir Ramon and Zohar Zimron, as well as Amro Almayah (10,000m), Girma Amra (10,000m), Noam Neeman (3,000m), and high-jumper Maayan Shahaf.