Two Israelis to face off in Paralympic tennis semis

Israel guaranteed either silver or gold medal, its fourth in the Games

The Israeli flag raised at the Paralympic Games (photo credit: Noah Ram/courtesy ISAP)
The Israeli flag raised at the Paralympic Games (photo credit: Noah Ram/courtesy ISAP)

Israeli athletes Noam Gershony and Shraga Weinberg secured spots in the semi-finals of the men’s singles quad tennis tournament at the London Paralympic Games Tuesday. The two will face off against each other for a spot in the final, and the honor of winning Israel a gold or silver medal.

In their quarter-finals games on Tuesday, Gershony beat Bryan Barten from the United States, 6:1, 6:1, while Weinberg beat Britain’s Peter Norfolk 3:6, 7:5, 6:0.

After the match, Weinberg said he was excited and that he couldn’t be happier “to defeat [Norfolk] in front of his home crowd.”

Norfolk, who is referred to as “the Quadfather,” said of his Israeli opponent: “I thought Shraga played okay. The big change was in my grip and not hitting it back in court. If you don’t hit it in the court you can’t win.”

Israel’s Boaz Kramer was knocked out of the competition after losing in two sets to David Wagner from the United States.

On Saturday night, Izhak Mamistvalov became the second Israeli to stand on the podium at London, when he won bronze in the 200-meter freestyle swim, narrowly beating another Israeli. Swimmer Inbal Pezaro won bronze Friday in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing the final race in 37.89 seconds. On Saturday, Pezaro won her second medal of the games, a bronze in the women’s 200-meter freestyle.

Israel has won 333 medals in the Paralympics over the years, 113 of them gold. Established in 1948 by a Jewish doctor who escaped Nazi Germany, the Paralympics used to be known as “parallel” or “special” Olympics.

Aaron Kalman contributed to this report.

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