Frankel and Loktev Swim 1:48s in 200 Free on Day 3 in Israel


With the American-based Team Elite swimmers having wrapped their competition at the Israel Cup on Thursday, Friday brought full focus upon the domestic swimmers and their quest for FINA World Championships “A” qualifying times (of which they had none to this point of the meet).

While Israeli swimmers struck out again on hitting the FINA “A” standard, there was a breakthrough. For just the 2nd time (that we’ve been able to identify) at the meet, a swimmer has hit the “FINA A + 1%” time to earn a slot to swim at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome in June. That will be the last chance for unqualified Israeli swimmers to earn their “A” cuts for the World Championships.

That breakthrough came from Tomer Frankel in the men’s 200 free, where he won in a time of 1:48.40. The 2018 European Junior Champion in the 100 free, 17-year old Frankel slid just-under the time needed for the Sette Colli. He was still more than a second slower than his National Record swim of 1:47.16 from this meet lasts year, but the result was still an important breakthrough for the meet overall.

He’ll be joined in Rome by his peer Denis Loktev, who finished 2nd in the 200 free in 1:48.47. That hit, to the hundredth, the Sette Colli reimbursement qualifying time, though Loktev too has been faster in the event.

Other Day 3 Winners:

  • After runner-up finishes in her two previous swims, 16-year old Lea Polonsky broke through in the women’s 200 free. She won the event by almost 2 seconds, touching in 2:02.88. That tip-toed under her previous best time, by .02 seconds, and is her 2nd best-time of 2019 in this event so far.
  • With the absence of Polonsky in the 200 fly, 17-year old May Lowy won in 2:19.43. She’s been as fast as a 2:14 in this event. Highlighting the Israeli youth at this meet: every swimmer in shit event was born in 2002 or later, aside from Lowy, who was born in 2001.
  • Without the country’s two fastest 200 butterfliers this season, Denis Loktev and Tomer FrankelEric Kitchev won the 200 fly in 2:05.64. He and Binyamin Saltzman were in a dead heat at the 100 meter mark, but Kitchev wound up winning by over a second. Shahar Harel was actually out faster than both of them, but he faded to 3rd in 2:08.27.
  • With Anastasia Gorbenko scratching out of the race, Gail Pescara won the 200 breaststroke in 2:32.65. Nobody else was within 13 seconds of her time.
  • Jounathan Rom won the men’s 200 breaststroke in 2:19.00, which is his first time under 2:20. Yevgen Mamin was just behind in 2:19.09.
  • Aviv Barzelay won the women’s 100 backstroke easily in 1:02.53. That’s her best time by exactly a second (breaking her personal mark set at this meet last year).
  • Yakov Toumarkin won the men’s 100 backstroke in 55.10.



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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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