2010, a marvelous year for the Israeli swimming teams
The great success began at the European Junior Championships in Finland, when Yakov-Yan Toumarkin won the 100m backstroke, 0.16 sec shy of Laszlo Cseh's record, while teammate David Gamburg finished third, giving the Israeli team a swim to be proud of.
After this performance, Yakov Yan Toumarkin proved that he is one of the top swimmers in the world for his age by taking two silver medals at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (SIN) in the 100m and 200m backstroke events.
At the senior age group level, the 30th European Championships in Budapest (HUN) were also a great success. Guy Barnea took third in the 50m backstroke, offering Israel its first medal after 10 years of drought in a European Senior swimming championship.
Two days after Guy Barnea's celebration, Gal Nevo won a second bronze medal for Israel in the 400m individual medley after a great swim against local swimmers Laszlo Cseh and David Verraszto. The European championships ended up being the best competition for an Israeli team ever.
After all preparations for the short course season, the Israeli swimmers flew to Eindhoven (NED) for the European Short Course Swimming Championships at the beginning of December. Amit Ivry finished in 6th place in the 50m butterfly and in the 100m medley. And so did teammate Yakov Yan Toumarkin in the 100m backstroke. Jonatan Koplev too competed well, finishing in 8th place in the 50m and 100m backstroke.
The 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Dubai (UAE) closed the year for the Israeli senior swimmers with Gal Nevo finishing 7th in the men's 400m individual medley with a new national record basing himself as one of the best IM swimmers in the world. His teammates, Guy Marcos Barnea in the men's and Amit Ivry among women also achieved national records with great performances during the semi-finals.
The Israeli Swimming Association accomplished their goal when it was approved that the 2011 European Open-Water Championships would be held in September in the port city of Eilat in southern Israel.
The cream of the crop of 2010 came at the annual Israeli Olympic Committee pick of the "Athlete of the Year" that took place last December. The swimmer Yakov Yan Toumarkin was announced as the Israeli Youth "athlete of the year" for his achievements at the European Youth Championships and at the Youth Olympic Games, where he achieved the "Fina A Cut" for the World Championships.
All in all, 2010 was one of the best years for Israeli swimming ever, with lots of national records and high ability performances by the leading Israeli swimmers, leaving the country with anticipation for the year to come.