Israelis at Rio, Part 2: New Sports

Shlomo Haimy, cyclist. Photo credit: Haimy's Facebook page.
Shlomi Haimy, cyclist. Photo credit: Haimy’s Facebook page.

In the first installment of this series, we discussed the Israeli swim team, but now I would like talk about some new events for the Israeli Olympic Delegation.


In cycling, Israel sent two participants who competed for the first time ever. First, we had Shani Bloch in the road race. The 37-year-old was able to make her first Olympic games and finish in the respectable position of 48th in a grueling course that saw 20 cyclists not even cross the finish line. The fact the Bloch was able to finish the race at her age and in her first Olympics is a great accomplishment.

The final Israeli to compete in Rio was Shlomi Haimy who competed in the mountain bike event. Shlomi started off strong and was in 5th place early on but had the incredible misfortune of suffering not one but two flat tires that  dragged him all the way into last place. Being the fighter that he is, Shlomi was able to climb back all the way up to 29th place (out of a total of 44).

Both our Cyclists have a lot of positives to look back at and should be very proud.



For the first time in its history, Israel sent a triathlete to the Olympic Games and it was 23-year-old Ron Darmon. Young Darmon finished in 26th place and surprised many while doing so. Ron started off a bit slow in the water but improved as the competition went on and was able to even reach the top 20 at one point during the race. Near the end his timing slowed and Darmon’s final position was 26th overall. Considering his age, we should see Ron Darmon compete for Israel in the 2020 Olympic Games.

Ron Darmon, triathlete. Photo credit: Darmon's Facebook page
Ron Darmon, triathlete. Photo credit: Darmon’s Facebook page


Golf made it to the Olympics for the first time in 100 years and nobody expected Israeli Laetitia Beck to qualify as she was ranked 250th in the world heading into the competition.. But she proved the naysayers wrong and finished around the middle of the pack in 31st place. Beck had a rough back 9 on her opening day that put her at +4, and had a tough uphill battle from there. She shot -1 on days 2 and 4 and shot for par on day 3 to put herself at 31. The 24 year old shows a lot of promise for the future and hopefully we will start hearing of her success in the LPGA tour soon.



The 3 time European Silver medalist Ilana Kratysh who arrived in Rio hopeful for a medal fell way short in her first Olympics. The 26-year-old who faced a hometown favorite lost 3-1 in her match and was very quick to complain about the refereeing and her rival. My suggestion for Ilana is to take care of what she needs to first and worry about the opponent later. Should she learn to compose herself, we could see her bounce back in another four years.


For more insights into the world of Israeli sports, follow me on Twitter: @effgoro

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Roy Friedman says:

    Israel sent road race cyclists in Rome 1960, and both did not fibish the course.
    Also Israel has sent male wrestlers previously.


    1. effkef says:

      Israel has sent in both case male athletes, it was the first time woman athletes competed in those competitions therfor a first


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