ISRAEL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS + OLYMPIC TRIALS
- June 11-14, 2021
- Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel
- 50 meters (LCM)
- Prelims/Finals, Olympic qualifying event
- Full Results
A pair of Israeli Records and a new Olympic qualifier in the men’s 100 back highlighted day 3 of the 2021 Israel Nationals and Olympic Trials.
This meet is serving as the penultimate qualifying event for the Israeli swimmers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Swimmers must hit an “A” cut to earn an invite, except for any potential qualified relay swimmers.
Veteran Andi Murez got the first National Record of the day in the women’s 200 free, where she swam 1:57.87 in prelims. That shaved a tenth of a second off her previous best time and National Record of 1:57.97 done in Stockholm in early April.
Murez, who attended Stanford University in the United States, didn’t go a best time in this 200 free from a 1:59.01 that she swam in 2015 for almost 6 years. After big short course progress in the fall, however, she’s been 1:59.0-or-better now 8 times in the last 3 months.
That includes a 1:58.92, where she appeared to be trying to help her 15-year old countrymate Daria Golovati reach the FINA “B” standard of 2:00.80. Israel’s women’s 800 free relay is in the top 4 wildcards that should be qualified, but they haven’t yet cleared the standard of having all four team members hit the “B” standard. Golovati swam a best time of 2:00.98, but that still leaves her just shy of the “B” standard.
Murez’s swim was essentially the same splitting as her previous record-setting performance, but she was able to close just a little faster to get the record.
The day’s other record came in the men’s 100 breaststroke, where Itay Goldfaden swam 1:00.79 that cleared the May 2012 record of 1:00.96 set by Imri Ganiel. This comes after Goldfaden set the Israel Record in the 50 breaststroke on Saturday swimming 27.05.
Goldfaden’s previous best time in the 100 breaststroke was a 1:01.56 done in July 2019. That does give Goldfaden an Olympic “B” standard, but leaves him shy of the “A” standard that he needs to qualify.
While not a National Record, Michael Laitarovsky had a breakthrough swim in the men’s 100 backstroke. He posted a 53.84 to win the race and slide under the Olympic “A” standard of 53.85.
Laitarovsky is a known 50 sprinter in Israel who has improved his 100 a lot over the last 2 years. His previous best time was a 54.25 from December.
The Israel Record remains a 53.60 done by Yakov Toumarkin in 2017.
Men’s 800 Free Relay
Israel has 3 relays qualified for Tokyo at present: the men’s and women’s 800 free relays, and the mixed 400 medley relay.
On Sunday, a heated battle for relay spots in the men’s 800 free relay raged. With no assurances of the relay qualifying to finals, and the risk of taking relay-only swimmers if it doesn’t, Israel is only taking 4 swimmers in the event.
Denis Loktev had the fastest time in prelims with a personal best of 1:47.66, but Gal Groumi won finals with a personal best of his own in the evening in 1:47.77.
That group, without even the benefit of relay starts, now have a flat-start aggregate right around 6:10 – which is two seconds better than their National Record in the event.
But the story doesn’t stop there. Bar Soloveychik (1:48.63) and Ron Polonsky (1:48.97) also swam personal bests on Sunday, so there is still a fight to be waged in Rome in late June to set this relay.