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Maccabiah Games End: Israel Wins Most Medals

July 20, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 11th Maccabiah Games were concluded here last Thursday night when the Maccabiah flame, which was lit at the opening ceremony July 6 at the Ramat Gan stadium, was extinguished at the foot of Mount Zion. Immediately thereafter a banner containing the words “If I forget thee, o Jerusalem” was hoisted on the hilltop.

The various teams, comprising 3,600 athletes from 35 countries who competed in 31 sports in 58 locations throughout Israel, then marched from Independence Park through the center of the city chanting and handing out souvenirs and insignia pins to Israeli youngsters who trailed along.

The festive mood continued as more than 10,000 fans, sitting in an outdoor amphitheater viewed a sound and light show projected on the walls of the Old City and were entertained by the country’s top singers, dancers, choirs and bands. At the closing ceremony where the Maccabiah flame was extinguished, Premier Menachem Begin, Ramat Gan Mayor Israel Peled and Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek addressed the athletes and fans on the need to make aliya to Israel.


At the end of the 10-day Maccabiah, the largest since its inception in 1932, Israel had the most medals, 177, while the United States had 162. But the U.S. was ahead with 73 gold medals to Israel’s 59. Israel was also ahead with 64 silver medals to the U.S.’ 49, and Israel topped the U.S. in bronze medals with 54-40.

Israel and the U.S. were followed by South Africa, with a total of 36 medals; Canada, with 29; Australia, with 23; Great Britain and Argentina tied, with 18 each; France, with 17; Brazil, with 15; and Sweden, with 12. Mexico and Holland tied, with nine medals each; West Germany and Italy tied, with three medals each; Finland had one medal; and New Zealand and Austria tied, with one medal each.

The actual competition during the last day was featured by the overall team play of the U.S. squad and South Africa. In tennis at the Ramat Hasharon courts, the Americans dominated by taking 16 of the 20 gold medals with Israel and South Africa sharing the

remaining four medals between them. Only Shlomo Glickstein, Israel’s top tennis player, prevented the U.S. from making a clean sweep of the court’s play. He coasted to an easy win over Brad Gilbert of Piedmont, Calif., 6-4, 6-3, in the men’s final.

Andrea Leand, a junior Wimbledon semi-finalist of Brooklandville, Md. came up with her second gold medal in mixed doubles with partner Jeff Klaparda of Los Angeles, Calif., in a long contest, the best of the day, when they defeated Gail Joss and Brian Levine of South Africa 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Gilbert was consoled somewhat for his singles loss to Glickstein when teamed with Jon Levine in doubles they beat fellow Americans, Ricky Meyer and Paul Bernstein, 6-4, 6-3.


Politics entered the Games when the Mexicans A. Walerstein and M. Fastlie refused to take the court against E. Saphire and J. Saks of South Africa in the over 35-year final, thereby forfeiting the match. The Mexican tennis manager advised Maccabiah court officials before the start of the tournament that none of his players would compete against South African players at the insistence of the Mexican government which bans sporting association with South Africa in international officially recognized events.

Earlier the Mexicans refused to play a scheduled soccer match with South Africa, forcing the organizing committee to switch the two teams to separate football brackets. The enraged South African booters went on to beat the United States in the football finals 3-1 at Ramat Gan stadium. For the Americans it was a moral victory since they had never taken down a medal in soccer and were ecstatic with their silver runner-up team trophy.

The South Africans dominated the final game after coming from behind. The U.S. scored first in the 10th minute of play on a goal by Kenneth Abrams of Spring Valley, N.Y. but lagged behind the rest of the contest. Israel just managed to come up with a bronze medal by downing Great Britain 5-4.


The U.S. retained its basketball title won four years ago by swamping Israel 91-71 at the Yad Eliahu stadium. The home club went with its reserve international squad and was no match for the Americans. Dan Schayes, of Syracuse University, a National Basketball Association draft choice of Utah, was outstanding with 28 points, dominating the back boards and hitting amazingly from the outside.

Willie Sims, the Black Jew, who was responsible for the 1977 gold medal, played a tremendous floor game and came up with 16 points. Sims hails from Long Island, N.Y. and will try out with the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. If he fails in Colorado, he is all set here with Maccabi Haifa. American Captain David Blatt of Princeton notched 17 points while the ex-Syracuse 11 flash dominated as team playmaker. Blatt, likewise, is slated to play here next season with Maccabi Haifa.

At one point in the second half, the Americans held the Israelis scoreless for nine minutes, no small feat.

At Caesarea, the U.S. Golf team came up with a team victory with 1189 points to runner-up Canada at 1224. However, the big excitement came when Americans Corey Pavin of Oxnard, Calif. and Joel Hirsch of Chicago, Ill., tied at the end of regulation play and were forced into a sudden death, extra hole play-off after they had tied 72 holes. In the sudden death, Pavin shot a brilliant birdie as Hirsch could do no better hitting a par four.

Similarly, in the quest for the bronze medal, Canada’s Bill Holsman went into a sudden death play-off with Joan Gross of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and won when the American fluffed an easy putt to blow the medal.

Great Britain edged the U.S. women’s links team 985 to 1000 points but Renee Heading of Wesley Chapel, Fla., took the singles title with a 10-stroke margin over Debora Frankel of Great Britain.


Brian Mondschein of Huntington Beach, Calif. set a new Maccabiah record in the decathlon with a total of 7359 points. The silver medal went to Mark Kibort of Saratoga, Calif. who came up with a total of 6485. In topping all competitors, Mondschein took a first in the discus and 1500 run with seconds in the 110 meter hurdles and pole vault.

Brenda Kaziner of the University of Michigan won the 200-meter women’s final sprint. In the 4×400 meter women’s relay, the U.S. placed second to Israel while standings were reversed in the same race for male runners. The men won the gold in 3.14.10 as the women took the silver in 3.59.63. Sara Strauss of Scarsdale, N.Y came second in the 3000-meter run.

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