Ten­nis Olympics

Dudi Sela se­cures 45th spot to Rio

Jerusalem Post - - FRONT PAGE - By ALLON SI­NAI

Dudi Sela will be­come the first Is­raeli ten­nis player since 1992 to take part in the men’s sin­gles event at the Olympics in Rio this sum­mer de­spite fall­ing six places to No. 68 in the world on Mon­day.

Only the top 56 in Mon­day’s de­ci­sive ATP rank­ings are to re­ceive di­rect ac­cep­tance to the 2016 Rio Games, but Sela made the cut as each coun­try is only al­lowed to send four rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The last Is­raeli man to rep­re­sent the coun­try at the Olympic sin­gles tour­na­ment was Gi­lad Bloom at Barcelona 1992. Anna Smash­nova (2004), Tzipi Obziler (2004) and Sha­har Pe’er (2008, 2012) have all taken part in the women’s sin­gles since, with Andy Ram and Yoni Er­lich play­ing in the dou­bles tour­na­ment in each of the past three Olympics.

The 31-year-old Sela be­came the 45th mem­ber of Is­rael’s big­gest ever del­e­ga­tion to the Olympics, two more than the pre­vi­ous record set in Bei­jing 2008.

The del­e­ga­tion is also set to con­tinue and grow over the com­ing weeks, with golfer Laeti­tia Beck all but cer­tain to qual­ify. Beck sits in 42nd place in the Olympic rank­ings, with the top 59 on July 11 to book a berth in Rio. Is­rael’s swim­mers also have un­til July 3 to set a qual­i­fy­ing time in a sanc­tioned event.

Sela, who lost to Dustin Brown in the first round of Roland Gar­ros, will play in the grass tour­na­ment in Den Bosch this week.

Mean­while, the Olympic Com­mit­tee of Is­rael an­nounced on Sun­day that ev­ery Is­raeli gold medal win­ner will be awarded a NIS 500,000 bonus, as well as an apart­ment worth NIS 1,000,000 from one of the OCI’s spon­sors. His coach will re­ceive NIS 250,000 (50%), the coach­ing staff NIS 50,000 (10%), with his as­so­ci­a­tion and club to get NIS 25,000 (5%).

Any Is­raeli sil­ver medal­ist will be awarded NIS 400,000, with his coach to get half the sum, coach­ing staff 10 per­cent and as­so­ci­a­tion and club five per­cent. Bronze medal­ists will re­ceive NIS 250,000, with the coach to get half the sum, coach­ing staff 10 per­cent and as­so­ci­a­tion and club five per­cent.

Ath­letes from Is­rael who fin­ish be­tween fourth and 12th place will also be awarded per­for­mance bonuses.

(Reuters)

IS­RAELI TEN­NIS player Dudi Sela be­came the 45th mem­ber of blue-and-white del­e­ga­tion to the Rio Olympics yes­ter­day de­spite drop­ping to No. 68 in the world rank­ings.

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