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U.s., Israel Neck-in-neck for Honors in 10th Maccabiah Games

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The 10th Maccabiah, the Jewish Olympics, reached the midway mark today with the U.S. and Israel battling neck-in-neck for honors in most major events. Since the games began last Tuesday, American athletes have collected 62 medals compared to 52 by the Israelis. In the gold medal category, the margin is much smaller–25 for the U.S. so far and 23 for Israel. The competitions will end Wednesday and this Maccabiah will be brought to an official close with ceremonies in Jerusalem on Thursday.

American excelled in swimming and tennis in both the men’s and women’s events. Mark Heinrich, of La Jollo, California and the U.S. Naval Academy, established a new Maccabiah record in the men’s 100-meter backstroke with time of 1 minute and 00.57 seconds. Lance Michaelis of Santa Clara, Calif. came up with a 1.06.62 against Israel’s Joel Kinde’s 1.08.8 of 1973.

In the 800-meter free-style relay, the American team comprised of Heinrich, Michael Saphir of Los Altos, Calif., Hilary Bergman of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Alan Fine took a gold medal with a time of 7.59.07 which placed them in the world’s top 25 relay teams for the distance.

In the women’s swimming events, Wendy Weinberg of Baltimore, a 1968 Olympic bronze medalist, set a new record in the 400-meter free-style of 4.26.14. She was followed by teammates Gayle Berkowitz and Emily Feldman. Ms. Weinberg broke her own 1973 Maccabiah record in the 200-meter butterfly event with a time of 2.20.80 compared to 2.30.7 four years ago. Norma Barton, 15, of California, took second place in the event and seems to be slated for big things in the 1980 Olympics.

SWIMMING COMPETITION

The Americans were prevented from a clean sweep in the swimming competition by Anat Farkas, a 14-year-old Israeli who won the women’s 100-meter breaststroke. But the Yanks did take five of the six events: Bergman won the 400-meter men’s free-style with a time of 4.04.34; Mark Gordin, of Cerritus, Calif. took the 200-meter backstroke by 2.09.59; and Michaelis the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2.25.26. Weinberg won the women’s 200-meter free-style in 2.08.96.

In the women’s 100-meter relay free-style her time was 4.10.09. Teammates Donna Goldbloom of Chevy Chase, Md. had a time of 1.02.97; Sara Shuster, 2.06.00; and Norma Barton, 3.07.29. Israel came in second in the relay, followed by Canada. Gillian Peters, of Australia, triumphed over Lisa Denaburg of the U.S. in the 100-meter backstroke with a record-breaking time of 1.10.33. Denaburg finished ahead of Elaine Luxemberg of Canada.

TENNIS MATCHES

In women’s tennis, Dana Gilbert of Piedmont, Calif. Scored an upset victory over U.S. pro-tennis star Robin Tenney in two sets while Donna Rubin, of Rye, New York, beat Israel’s best, Pauline Peled. Three other Americans who remain in the battle for the women’s single tennis championship are Linda Siegel man, of New York, Stacy Margolin of Beverly Hills, Calif. and Judy Applebaum.

Among the men, Joel Ross, of Hartsdale, N.Y. Steve Krulevitz of Baltimore, and Larry Loeb won their matches to assure a U.S. position in the finals. In senior tennis, Mort Greenberg defeated Emanuel Bardan of Israel 6-4, 6-1. He teamed up with Hal Landesberg to whip Bardan and Shmuel Rivlin in the doubles match 7-5, 6-1.

U.S. DOES WELL IN MANY EVENTS

Sharon Shapiro, a youngster from Arleta, Calif. won five gold medals in the single and team gymnastics and was hailed as the “Nadia Commenici” of Jewish gymnastics. She is a definite starter for the U.S. in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

In the weight-lifting competition, Jason Farrow of Monticello, N.Y. won a bronze medal in the lightweight division; Michael Cohen, of Savannah, Ga. took a gold medal in the middleweight division and teammate Barry Herman took a silver medal. Cohen broke two Maccabiah records by lifting a total of 610-1/2 lbs. in the clean-and-jerk and snatch-and-lift.

Ronald Krelstein of Germantown, Tenn., won a gold medal for the U.S. in the 50-meters pistol shooting to break his own 1973 Maccabiah record. In the free-pistol event, the American team scored 2091 points against 2022 for the Israeli team.

In golf, the American team is leading with 296 followed by South Africa (300), Great Britain (304) and Israel (310). But Brazil easily whipped the Americans in table tennis, 5-1, although the American women eked out a 3-2 victory over the Israeli women.

American scored a clean sweep in the sabre competition with Edgar House and Joel Glucksman, of New York City, taking gold and silver medals, and Richard Maxwell of Philadelphia, a bronze medal. The U.S. team surprised all by beating Argentina in soccer, 2-1. The Americans were held to a 2-2 tie by Peru. In volleyball, the Americans fell before a tough Israeli squad after downing France.

The U.S. backetball five swept to an easy 108-32 win over a Colombia quintet. Stu Kitenic, of the University of South Carolina, led the scoring with 19 baskets, followed by 17-year-old Dan Schayes who scored 17 points. The American water polo team swamped Belgium 6-1.

On the deficit side, all six American boxers lost their matches and were eliminated from competition. But America beat the highly touted British squash team 2-1. In bridge, which is an auxiliary event, the U.S. dropped to third place Friday after losing to South Africa but gained a second place tie with the South Africans Saturday night.

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