The 19th Maccabiah shifted into a higher gear Sunday, as the teams and individuals competed in their first full day of competition. From fencing to swimming, soccer to cricket, hundreds of Jewish athletes from around the world competed on the field, and dozens stood on the podium.
One notable event was the first-ever no-hitter thrown in Maccabiah history, as the junior US team hammered Canada 12-0 behind a strong effort from high school graduate Ben Feinman. It was the US’s second strong performance of the Games, after it blew by Israel 15-1 in the teams’ opening match on Friday.
Israeli soccer player Amit Zinati enjoyed a good day on the pitch, as the blue-and-white team defeated Sweden 4-0. While the first goal of the match was scored by Avihoo Ezer, it was Zinati’s hat-trick — all three goals coming within four minutes — that propelled Israel to victory.
US olympic swimmer Garret Weber-Gale dominated the competition on the first day at the pool, winning gold in the 100 men’s free-style with a time of 48.99 seconds. Immediately after the race, several media outlets hovered around Weber-Gale and asked him his thoughts on the new Olympic pool in Wingate, “It’s one of the nicer pools I have swam in,” said Weber-Gale. “It is beautiful.”
Before receiving his gold medal, Weber-Gale told the Times of Israel he was enjoying finally taking part in the Maccabiah.
“It is great, I was looking forward to coming to this competition for many years. It was a good swim. I won the race, which I was happy about. I wanted to go a little faster than I did, but I might lead off the relay tomorrow night and boast a better time,” Weber-Gale said, adding his first Maccabiah medal to his two Olympic ones.
Maccabi Great Britain won its first medal in the morning, when Guy Cohen took the bronze in fencing. Cohen was the only non-Israeli to stand on the podium at the end of the contest, highlighting the fact that many of the individual events were a training ground for Israel’s athletes.
— Maccabi GB (@maccabigb) July 21, 2013
In other Maccabiah news, USA Open Men’s Basketball Coach Brad Greenberg was appointed the head coach of Hapoel Jerusalem over the weekend. Greenberg led Maccabi Haifa to a stunning victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in last year’s championship game and was linked to a move to Jerusalem for some weeks. He will be joining an organization that is rebuilding, with a new ownership group looking to improve its overall performance.