RAMAT GAN, Israel (Jul. 9)
The United States continued to accumulate gold and silver medals at the 13th Maccabiah and was on its way to overtaking Israel in the overall medal count, as the Sabbath called a temporary halt to competition Friday evening.
The Maccabiah, the quadrennial Jewish Olympic-style sports competition, has drawn about 3,000 athletes from 44 countries this year.
The Americans, who have the largest contingent after Israel, have made an impressive showing in many events, especially swimming.
They swept the 100 meter freestyle at the Tel Aviv University pool Friday afternoon. Keith Kaplan led the way, just ahead of teammates Andrew Geller and Rick Aronberg.
Charles Rose of the United States narrowly defeated his Israeli competitor in the grueling 400 meter individual medley.
The U.S. swimming team won 12 of 18 swimming medals Thursday, including five golds, while setting four Maccabiah records.
The team was paced by Ruth Grodsky, who set records in the 200 meter breaststroke and the 400 meter individual medley.
Aronberg, a teammate of Grods ###emson University in South Carolina, set a record for the 200 meter freestyle. Joshua Mikesell did the same in the 100 meter backstroke.In gymnastics, Cassandra Frey led the U.S. women with three medals. The American men also fared well with seven medals in individual competition.
The U.S. fencers, led by David Mandell, David Stollman and Peter Brand, beat Hungary for the gold.
The American shooting team racked up three team and three individual medals as sisters Rebecca and Abigale Marcus finished first and second in the women’s Olympic free rifle competition, with only one point separating them.
The American wrestling team took the gold in freestyle and the silver in Greco Roman competition. They were led by Robinson Prebish, Solomon Fleckman and Darren Schulman, who each won a gold in both classifications.
Late Thursday night, American weight lifter Michael Cohen won the gold medal at his fourth consecutive Maccabiah. He has 12 Maccabiah records in four weight classes.
Cohen, a native of Savannah, Ga., is coached by his father, Howard, a past Maccabiah champion.
Meanwhile, the Americans remained undefeated in softball.