BETWEEN the start of the Maccabiah Games and the time of going to print, (Tuesday afternoon, Israel time), the Australian team – in addition to the six medals won in golf – claimed another eight medals.
Leading the way was Maccabi Life NSW committee member Nicole Katz, who won gold in the +50 women’s category in the half marathon, held on Jerusalem’s floodlit streets on Monday night – and she didn’t realise until an hour later.
The super fit 51-year-old left no stone unturned in training, but a niggling injury and a cramp during the run hampered her a bit.
Katz reached the finish line in two hours, which was far from her PB, but enough to come first in the 30-strong +50 women’s field.
“I didn’t realise I’d won gold, and it was only in a lift back to our hotel when [Maccabi Australia photographer] Dan Ullman phoned to tell me … and then I let off the biggest scream!” Katz said.
“I was super surprised, because I came here not to win, but to experience a bucket list moment.
“This was my first time competing at the Games, so winning was a shock, and I’m on such a high now!
“What I hope it shows is that life doesn’t stop at 50 … just set a goal, and go for it.”
Matt Sherwin won silver for Australia in the cycling program’s opening event at Israel’s national velodrome on July 17.
In the first two days of the swimming, another silver was earned by Australia’s junior 4×100 mixed medley relay team, bronze in the junior 4×50 mixed medley relay, and bronze by Tamryn Schubert and Anna Sarakinsky as part of an Australian-Brazilian team in the 4×50 free open mixed relay.
Australia’s only karate competitor, Kerry Saloner, won an open women’s bronze medal.
In the masters table tennis teams competition, Sam Parasol and Mark Freedman were upgraded from fourth to bronze in the +60 men’s, when a composite team was ruled out.
And the Aussie +40 men’s table tennis left-handed, right-handed combo of Adam Sulcas and Yoram Bargil defeated the USA and Argentina, guaranteeing them a silver or bronze, depending on the outcome of their last match versus Cuba, played on Tuesday night (Israel time).
Sulcas said in the lead-up, “This is the best feeling, because we hadn’t played together before arriving here, but our doubles game clicked, and we’ll be taking home a medal.”