Manic Maccabiah Monday

July 11, 2017 by David Weiner
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David Weiner reports from the Maccabiah in Israel…

I had the privilege tonight of witnessing Australia’s futsal comeback win against Brazil in Ramat Gan. It was just one of many superb examples of Maccabiah achievement from our community on a day that saw Matt Levy become the first person EVER to break a World Record at a Maccabiah Games; Len Bryer and Josh Goldstat – who is coming back after almost two decades away from competition – win gold in their age groups in the half marathon; Jemima Montag snared a bronze; open men’s basketball and women’s football snared pivotal wins and there were smiles everywhere on a memorable night at the pool – amongst much else, as you’ll see below.

But the futsal was something else. It was competition of the highest order, and a brilliant example of Maccabi clubland linking all the way to the top of the Maccabi sporting tree.

For four years the likes of Jarrod Basger and Jordan Mundell have been waiting for revenge after Brazil knocked them out in 2013, while working to get a team in Sydney to the level needed to progress further at this Maccabiah; they got their revenge in the most pulsating of circumstances tonight; in front of a packed house of Aussies and teammates watching on.

The win is even more impressive given skipper Mundell picked up a heartbreaking injury yesterday, but led from the front from the bench, while Robbie Ezekiel, scorer of the first goal, was told he’d be out for 12 weeks – just a month before Maccabiah started.

For someone who has been to four Paralympics, the competition at Maccabiah was never going to be swimmer Matt Levy’s biggest challenge.

But there’s still the clock.

Matt Levy

And in a massive testament to Matt’s talent and professionalism, he rode that challenge on Monday in a way no one in Maccabiah history has ever done.

In the 200m freestyle S7 category on Monday at Wingate, Levy became the first person in Maccabiah history to break a world record.

He bettered his 2’16’70 swim from earlier this year to clock 2’16’28 – the morning after claiming a gold in the 100m free in the swim meet’s opening night.

“It’s always good to do PBs in a meet like this,” Matt enthused. “It was a pretty unreal experience and I had a pretty good swim.

“It’s always hard to back up from the night before … but it was good that my race plan worked.”

While Matt has a few short course records under his belt, it was only in April this year that he notched his first long course world mark. This is the first time he has set such a mark on foreign soil as well. So, don’t underestimate the magnitude of this personal achievement.

“I approach every meet the same way, and focus on what you need to focus on and my race plan,” he explained.

A simply superb performance from Len Bryer (left, 50-59 category) and Josh Goldstat (40-49): GOLD medals for each in their age category in the half marathon in Jerusalem. A very well spent 21 kilometres!

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