The Rio Olympics are set to take place in August, with the Paralympics following in September. JLife takes a look at what’s in store and shines the spotlight on Israel’s hopefuls.
It has already been four years since the London 2012 Olympics. That’s four years since Usain Bolt, dubbed as being ‘faster than lightning’, made Olympic history by becoming the first man to successfully defend both the 100m and 200m sprint titles, and four years since Danny Boyle’s dazzling opening ceremony.
For the 2016 Rio Olympics, taking place between 5th and 21st August and followed by the Paralympics from 7th to 18th September, three creative directors are overseeing the opening ceremony. The most notable of these is Fernando Merielles, director of 2005 film, The Constant Gardener, who is filling Boyle’s shoes as the chief filmmaker in charge. The launch of the premier athletics competition takes place on 5th August and plans for the ceremony are firmly under wraps.
The Olympic Games themselves will see 10,500 athletes from 206 countries compete in 306 medal events, with two new sports, golf and rugby sevens (a seven-player version of rugby union), making their Olympic debut.
The British team’s competing athletes will be confirmed at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham between 24th and 26th June at the British Championships. Upon being crowned British Champion, athletes will be expected to qualify for a place on Team GB for the Rio games. At the time of going to print it seems likely Mo Farrah and Jessica Ennis-Hill will be featuring in the line-up.
It will be the first time the Paralympic Games come to South America and there will be 4,350 athletes from 176 countries will competing in 528 medal events.
Hopes will be high as all eyes turn to Rio this summer. While the action on the track hots up, one thing is certain: we are in for another thrilling games.
Stars for the Summer
This year there are already enough qualifying athletes on the Israel team to ensure that medals in Rio are within reach. Here are the country’s best chances at the 2016 Olympics.
Donald Sandford (400m)
The American-Israeli athlete is currently on a hot streak. He won the 400 metres at the European games in 2015, while at the 2014 European Athletic Championships broke a new Israeli speed record with a 45.27-second finish.
Dmitry Kroyter (High Jump)
Dubbed one of Israel’s leading sports personalities, Kroyter shot to international prominence after becoming the nation’s first ever International Youth World Champion at the 2009 World Youth Championships in Athletics when he was just 16 years old. Now, the Russian-born athlete is competing in his first ever summer Olympics.
Sergy Rikhter (10m Air Rifle)
Currently sharing the junior world record in the 10m Air Rifle, Rikhter is to compete in his second summer Olympic Games after narrowly failing to make the finals in London. In the past four years, he has taken a gold medal at the 2013 European Championships and gained a bronze medal at last year’s European Games.
Marharyta Serhiïvna Dorozhon (Javelin Throw)
The Ukrainian-born javelin thrower has recently started competing for Israel following on from her achieving Israeli citizenship in 2014. In her first international competition as an Israeli national in April 2015 she set a new record for the country, and she went on to win a gold medal at the 2015 European Games, again setting a new record.
Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko (Triple Jump)
Similar to the javelin throwing-hopeful, Minenko has become an Israeli citizen since the previous Olympic Games, where she placed fourth in the women’s triple jump for Ukraine. She came first and second respectively at last year’s European Games and World Championships, which bodes well for her chances in Rio.
Amit Ivry (100m Breaststroke)
Ivry set an Israeli national record for women’s 100m backstroke back in July 2013, as well as gaining a silver medal at the Swimming World Cup that same year. She is one of Israel’s leading swimmers and should fare very well in the Brazil tournament
To see the Israel team in action, and to make sure you don’t miss the other key events in the Olympic and Paralympic Games schedule, take a look at JLife’s at-a-glance guide.
Event: 2016 Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony
Date: 5th August
Event: Women’s Heptathlon 800m
Date: 13th August
Watch out for: Jessica Ennis-Hill (GB)
Event: Men’s 200m Sprint Final
Date: 18th August
Watch out for: Usain Bolt (Jamaica)
Event: Men’s High Jump Final
Date: 16th August
Watch out for: Dmitry Kroyter (Israel)
Event: Women’s Javelin Throw Final
Date: 18th August
Watch out for: Marharyta Serhiïvna Dorozhon (Israel)
Event: 2016 Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony
Date: 21st August
Event: 2016 Rio Paralympics Opening Ceremony
Date: 7th September
Event: 2016 Rio Paralympics Closing Ceremony
Date: 18th September