Seventh Maccabiah Games Open in Israel Today; 36 Countries Represented

A total of 36 national contingents comprising more than 1,500 athletes completed preparations today for the opening in Ramat Gan Stadium tomorrow of the Seventh Maccabiah Games. They will compete in the 20 sports of the eight day athletic spectacular before an expected audience of 56,000.

The huge American team, largest of the visiting groups, arrived over the weekend on three El Al Jets. Haskell Cohen, head of the United States contingent, said that the American team was “the strongest we have ever brought to the Maccabiah Games” because it included “a large number of Olympic and near-Olympic athletes.” He expressed satisfaction with accommodations at Olympia Village, citing the “difficult obstacles which had to be overcome” to avoid shortcomings in previous games.

Athletes of most of the contingents spent the Sabbath resting or in light training. A well-attended service was held at the village synagogue. The teams include one from Iran, which is Moslem but not Arab. In an advance event, an Israel national tennis team defeated the British Jewish national team by 7-3, with another set to be played.

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