Israel is still in the bronze age.
A largely unsuccessful week and a half for Israel’s athletes in the Beijing Olympics, marked by several near-medal performances, improved when windsurfer Shahar Zubari, top right, finished third in his event, the same one that brought Israel’s first-ever Olympic gold medal, by Gal Fridman, in Athens four years ago. Zubari’s come-from-behind bronze medal performance was Israel’s only appearance on the winner’s podium by midweek.
They finally played “Hatikvah” at the Olympics.
Israel, which spent 40 years in the athletic desert, winning no medals from the country’s first appearance in the Summer Games in 1952 until Yael Arad’s silver in judo in 1992, won gold for the first time this week.
Windsurfer Gal Friedman, 28, who won a bronze medal in his Mistral sailing event in Atlanta eight years ago, took the gold on Wednesday in Athens, beating a Greek sailor by 11 points.