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Outstanding Performances Turned in by American Men’s and Women’s Teams at the 12th Hapoel Games

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The week-long 12th Hapoel Games came to a rousing end Saturday night in Haifa as the delegations from 35 countries which participated in the sports events marched in review before an enthusiastic throng of more than 20,000 spectators in Haifa Stadium. The contingent from the United States comprised 110 competitors, coaches and the heads of sports federations.

Outstanding performances were turned in by the American women’s and men’s teams who scored repeatedly in their respective events. Swimmer Susan Rapp of Eden Prairie, Minn. topped all medalists with a total of seven gold, silver and bronze medallions. Tiffany Cohen and John Sayre, both of Mission Viego, Calif. won high point trophies for swimming, no mean feat since the entire American swimming team consisted of only four men and four women in contrast to the 23 natators placed by Canada.

Several of the contestants set new Hapoel Games records: John Mykkanen, in the 400-meter freestyle, at 4:00.21; David Sims, in the 1,500-meter freestyle, at 15:56.40; Sayre, in the 400-meter individual medley, at 4:35.14; Cohen, in the 400-meter freestyle, at 8:59.12; and Rapp, in the 200-meter individual medley, at 2:21.64.

RUNAWAY WINNERS IN TRACK AND FIELD

In track and field, Larry Myricks ended up as the most outstanding athlete in the Games. He copped gold medals in the 100 and 200-meter sprints and in the long jump. His 8.06 meters in the long jump, in which he is rated among the world top three leapers, was far ahead of his competition. He is rated a good chance of taking down the gold medal in this event in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Other American men tracksters who fared well included Eugene Sanders, first in the 400-meter run with a new Hapoel Games record of 45.20; Jack McIntosh, with a new record for the Games, in 1:49.97; Herb Wills in the 10,000-meter event, and Jeff Ward who pole vaulted a shade under 18 feet for a new Games record.

Among the women tracksters, Tina Walls took the 400-meter run in 55.09 seconds and Wendy Knudson, in the 1,500-meter event, 4:25.72. Beth Farmer took second in 4:27.07 and ran off with the gold medal in the 3,000-meter run in 9:25.21.

The four American pistol shooters took the bronze medal for team competition while Ken Swanson was one of the three to smash the free pistol record with a total of 537 points.

Seven gold medal swimming winner, in the illfated 1972 Munich Olympics, Mark Spitz, gave a clinic in Jerusalem and then invited the four best swimmers present to compete against him at 25 meters. He started late, perhaps deliberately, and finished second to Yoram Globus of the YMCA-Hapoel of Jerusalem.

U.S. HOOPSTERS FARE BADLY

The U.S. fared badly in basketball when the inexperienced College of Charleston, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Troop champs, lost their tilts against Israel, Holland and Panama. Their top scorer, Stuart Malcom, however, led all shooters in the four-team tourney with 84 points.

The U.S. and Rumanian women gymnasts dominated in that sport with the U.S. finishing second. Second place in the individual all-round competition was scored by Lucy Evers who tallied 37.75 points and scored highest for any individual event with her 9.80 on the uneven bars.

Israel’s top swimmers, Nir Shamir (American-trained), Yoram Eilati and Lior Birkan each set new Israeli records and appear certain to represent Israel in their events at the 1984 Olympics. The American contingent was funded through the combined efforts of the U.S. Committee Sports for Israel and the Histadrut.

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