The 2012 Olympic Games in London began with disappointment on Saturday morning for several Israeli athletes, but picked up later on as 25-year-old Israeli athlete Alex Shatilov snagged a high score of 15.633 on the floor exercise in the qualifying round for the men’s All-Around gymnastics competition.
The Uzbekistan-born artistic gymnast, who has now almost guaranteed himself a place in next Sunday’s finals, was the first Israeli to reach an Olympic final in gymnastics in 2008, and the first to win medals at world championship and world cup contests (2011). He is one of Israel’s best hopes for a gold medal at the Games.
On Saturday evening, Israeli tennis duo Yoni Ehrlich and Andy Ram won their first match against Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez of Spain.
Earlier on Saturday, Judoka Artiom (Tommy) Arshanski advanced to the second round of the men’s under 60 kg competition, where he lost to Hiroaki Hiraoka of Japan, the world number two. In the first round, Arshanski defeated Jeroen Mooren of Holland by judges’ decision.
Badminton player Moshe Zilberman lost his first game of the Olympics Saturday, loosing two straight matches to his Danish rival. Zilberman will battle to progress to the next round when he takes on Derek Wong, from Singapore, on Sunday.
In the Aquatics Center at Olympic Park, Gal Nevo opened the Israeli campaign with a tenth place finish in the qualifying rounds of the men’s 400m medley. He finished with a time of 4:14.77 and narrowly failed to qualify for the finals of the event by 1.44 seconds.
Amit Ivri failed to qualify for the semifinals in the women’s 100m butterfly stroke by .04 seconds. She came in with a time of 58.78.
Imri Ganiel failed to qualify for the semifinals in the 100m breaststroke. He finished 24th of 42 competitors with a time of 1:02.07.
Stay with The Times of Israel for full coverage of Israel’s team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.