Dan Velez Sets Maccabiah Games Mark in Winning the 100 Breaststroke

By Seth R. Baron

NETANYA, Israel, July 13. THE third day of the swimming competition at the 17th Maccabiah Games in Israel saw the Israelis and Americans continue their stranglehold on the medals. Today, each country won four events as four Games records bit the dust.

The men’s 100-meter breaststroke produced the day’s best times and also the most exciting race, with the USA’s Dan Velez touching first in a new Games record of 1:03.76. Israel’s Danny Malnik was also under the old mark with his 1:03.91 while the USA’s Billy Jamerson was a close third at 1:04.18.

Max Jaben gave the Stars and Stripes another win, and another record, with his 3:54.87 in the 400-meter freestyle, as he defeated the favorite, Israel’s Shai Livnat, 3:56.67.

The U.S. men’s 800-meter freestyle relay, with Olympian Scott Goldblatt leading off in 1:51.04, set a third meet mark with a 7:30.58.

Danit Kama put Israel in the meet record book with a 1:05.05 winning effort in the women’s 100-meter backstroke. The USA’s Payton Johnson, winner of the 100 fly yesterday, was also under the old mark, finishing second in 1:05.90.

Veteran Yoav Gath gave Israel a sweep of the backstroke events by taking the men’s 100 meters in 57.25, as he repelled a strong effort by the USA’s Josh Hafkin, 57.69.

Israel’s Maya Finkler won her second gold with a convincing win in the 400 free. In a replay of the 200 free, Finkler touched in 4:27.11, more than four seconds in front of the USA’s Danielle Arad.

The USA’s Rachael Gordon out-touched Israel’s Asala Halag, 1:16.13 – 1:16.25, to take the women’s 100 breaststroke. On Monday, Halag won a hotly-contested victory in the 200 breast to become the first Israeli Arab to win gold at the Maccabiah Games.

The women’s 800 free relay went to Israel in 8:39.71, precisely seven seconds ahead of the U.S. team.

The swim competition winds up tomorrow at the Wingate Institute pool.


100 Back – Women
Gold: Danit Kama – ISR: 1:05.05 – New Maccabiah Record
Silver: Payton Johnson – USA: 1:05.90
Bronze: Sigal Simsolo – ISR: 1:06.23
4th: Sarah Goodman – USA: 1:08.63

100 Back – Men
Gold: Yoav Gat – ISR: 57.25
Silver: Joshua Hafkin – USA: 57.69
Bronze: Dash Rothberg – USA: 58.30
6th: Jonathan Strauss – USA: 59.21

400 Free – Women
Gold: Maya Finkler – ISR: 4:27.11
Silver: Danielle Arad – USA: 4:31.52
Bronze: Rebecca Smock – USA: 4:32.74
4th: Andrea Lippin – USA: 4:35.11

400 Free – Men
Gold: Max Jaben – USA: 3:54.87 – New Maccabiah Record
Silver: Shai Livnat – ISR: 3:56.67
Bronze: Bryan Goldberg – USA: 4:01.75
4th: Shilo Ayalon – ISR: 4:01.92

100 Breast – Women
Gold: Rachel Borden – USA: 1:16.13
Silver: Asala Halag – ISR: 1:16.25
Bronze: Lauren Fuchs – USA: 1:18.08

100 Breast – Men
Gold: Dan Velez – USA: 1:03.76 – New Maccabiah Record
Silver: Danny Malnik – ISR: 1:03.91
Bronze: Billy Jamerson – USA: 1:04.18

800 Free Relay – Women
Gold: Israel: 8:39.71
Silver: USA: 8:46.71

800 Free Relay – Men
Gold: USA: 7:30.58 – New Maccabiah Record
(S. Goldblatt 1:51.04, D. Madwed 1:54.31, B. Goldberg 1:52.03, M. Jaben 1:53.20)
Silver: Israel: 7:51.86