Israeli Olympic Committee Pleased

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Though Israeli windsurfer Shahar Zubari was the only one to bring a medal home from Beijing, the Olympic Committee of Israel (OCI) expressed overall satisfaction with the athletes performances.

"The most important fact is that for the fifth consecutive Olympics, we have maintained our place in the very prestigious club of medal winning nations," OCI secretary general Efraim Zinger told Jerusalem Post correspondent Allon Sinai.

"All of the athletes who competed in Beijing deserved to be there," he said. "Some did well and some didn't do so well. But all in all, I think the people of Israel can be proud of their delegation," he said.

While the less than peak performances of several top medal prospects were disappointing, they shouldn't erase the positives, said Gili Lostig, director of Israel's Elite Sport Department.

"In some events we did very well, and in some events we didn't do so well, but our expectations were to claim one medal and reach between six and eight finals, and I think we'll be close to that," he said.

Yet to compete on the last weekend of the Games are Israel's rhythmic gymnasts and marathon runner Haile Satayin.

Lostig advised taking the results "in proportion."

Meanwhile, bronze medal winner Shahar Zubari made the country and his family very proud.

Zubari, who entered Wednesday's medal race in fourth place overall, finished with a medal.

"I feel so happy. I'm only 21 and I feel like a superstar," said Zubari, who turns 22 on September 1.

"This was extremely difficult. I knew I could do well in these conditions and I made the correct tactical decisions and worked hard," he said.

Head sailing coach Gur Steinberg, who coached Israeli windsurfer and gold medalist Gal Fridman in the 1996 games in Atlanta and in Athens in 2004, started working closely with Zubari a couple of months before.

"He will develop over the coming years and has the potential to do even better in the future," Steinberg said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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