Helen Plashinsky, Mexico's 14-year-old champion swimmer, set a new Mexican and Maccabiah Games record of 1 minute 1.15 seconds in winning the women's 100 metres freestyle at the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel on Wednesday (13 July).
Helen Plashinsky, Mexico's 14-year-old champion swimmer, set a new Mexican and Maccabiah Games record of 1 minute 1.15 seconds in winning the women's 100 metres freestyle at the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel on Wednesday (13 July). Her victory prevented the competitors from the United States from making a clean sweep of the swimming events. Americans won four swimming gold medals on the opening day of the eight-day Games.
SYNOPSIS: All eyes were on Helen Plashinsky at the start of her speciality event because she was the favourite. Swimming in lane 4, she quickly confirmed her form and power by stroking into the lead. As expected, the strongest challenge in a talented field came from her three American rivals, with her main danger Wendy Weinberg, swimming beside her in lane 5. Wendy won the bronze medal in this event at the Montreal Olympic Games last year.
But the young Mexican girl was not to be overhauled. She won from Wendy Weinberg with another American girl, Danna Goldbloom, swimming in lane three, in third place.
Spectators lining the pool at Tel Aviv university sensed they were watching a star in the making. Three years from now, at the Olympic Games in Moscow, Helen could be adding to her medal collection.
Here's the finish of the men's 100 metres backstroke. Mark Heinrich, of the United States, in lane 4, won from Brazil's Sergio Reitzfield in lane 2, and Victor Ivry of Canada in lane 3. Heinrich, from the United States Naval Academy and San Diego, California, won in 1 minute and fifty-seven hundredths of a second. Heinrich was delighted and very relieved that he had just held on to touch only a fifth of a second ahead of Reitzfield's powerful finishing burst.
Wendy Weinberg, here in ;lane 4, compensated for her earlier loss by winning the women's 200 metres butterfly from her compatriot Norma Barton in lane 5. Alexandra Belle of Italy finished third. Wendy's time of 2 minutes 20.80 seconds was a Maccabiah record. A university of Virginia student, Wendy is at 19, a swimming veteran who'll have to show enormous resolution to keep in training for Moscow.