Israeli swimmers make finals in World Championships
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Israeli swimmers make finals in World Championships

Backstrokers Jonatan Kopelev and Guy Barnea to be the first two Israelis to swim together in a finals heat in the competition

Guy Barnea celebrates in the pool after winning his semifinals heat in the 50 meter backstroke at the World Championships in Barcelona, Saturday, August 4, 2013 (photo credit: Channel 1 screen capture)
Guy Barnea celebrates in the pool after winning his semifinals heat in the 50 meter backstroke at the World Championships in Barcelona, Saturday, August 4, 2013 (photo credit: Channel 1 screen capture)

Swimmers Guy Barnea and Jonatan Kopelev on Saturday secured appearances in the finals of the 50-meter backstroke at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Sunday will mark the first time two Israelis will appear together in the finals at a World Championships meet.

Barnea won his semifinals heat with a time of 24.73, the third-best result in the semifinals, while the 21-year-old Kopelev posted the seventh-best time — 24.95.

Barnea, 25, made it to the 100-meter backstroke semifinals of the 2008 Beijing Games, but narrowly missed qualifying for London 2012.

Kopelev, the European champion in the 50-meter backstroke — he’s the only Israeli to ever win gold on the continental level — qualified for the 2012 Olympics but was forced to sit out the games due to an appendectomy.

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