TEL AVIV (Apr. 10)
The International Maccabiah Games Committee announced at the conclusion of its two-day meeting at Kfar Hamaccabiah last week that more than 35 countries have confirmed to send teams to the quadrennial Jewish games scheduled for July 15-25, 1985.
The Committee said that among the nations sending teams for the first time to the 12th set of Jewish Olympic Games are Gibraltar, with Zaire, which last year restored diplomatic ties with Israel after breaking them in 1973, a strong possibility.
There is also the likelihood that Rumania will send a squad, marking the first time an East European delegation will appear since World War II. The possibility of Rumanian participation developed following a meeting in Jerusalem last week between Dr. Israel Peled, Maccabi World Union chairman, and Rumania’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mielos Yarvislescu.
A spokesman for the Maccabiah Games reported: “The Minister reacted favorably to our request for his country to send a team to next year’s Maccabiah, and indicated that he will make a sincere effort to bring this to a successful conclusion.”
Approximately 100 delegates, including a large delegation of the U.S. Committee Sports for Israel, American sponsors of the U.S. team, joined with representatives from 35 nations attending the two-day meeting. Alan Sherman, chairman of the U.S. Maccabiah Committee, is firmly convinced that the American contingent will include more than 400 athletes, coaches and advisors.
At the conclusion of the two days of talks, Sherman said, “We look for the addition of several new sports in the game’s program including rugby and women’s hockey. We are returning boxing and diving after a lapse of four years.” He said the 1985 games will probably have a cycling competition while team handball will be dropped because of lack of interest from participating countries. Team handball has been featured in the Maccabiah Games since the first tournament was held in 1932.
“A total of 31 sports will be in operation next summer compared to 29 events three years ago,with bridge and chess tournaments to be conducted within the framework of the international games,” Sherman said.
Bob Spivak, president of the U.S. Committee Sports for Israel, said that “arrangements for supporters to attend the games are being finalized and cut rate travel and touring prices will be offered to those sports afficionados coming to the Maccabiah from all corners of the globe.”