Be­naim makes a splash in Is­rael

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BY BRIAN SACKS

SWIM­MING REUT Be­naim, 15, tri­umphed in the Is­raeli Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Ne­tanya, winning six golds and a sil­ver, and an award for the best age-15 swim­mer over­all.

Her in­di­vid­ual gold medals all came in age-15 events in her pre­ferred stroke, the but­ter­fly. She recorded winning times of 28.8s for 50m, 1:04.04 for 100m and 2:26for200m-the50m time set­ting a ‘long course’ (50m pool) Swiss Cot­tage and Cam­den Club record. Be­naim then switched strokes to come fifth in 28.6s in the age-15 50m freestyle.

Be­naim, who comes from Swiss Cot­tage, won other medals in re­lay events, com­pet­ing for the Hapoel Yerusha­layim club. She was part of the team that set an Is­raeli record winning the Open 4x100m med­ley re­lay, and she also struck gold in the age -15 4x50m med­ley and 4x50m freestyle re­lays. Be­naim fin­ished with sil­ver in the Open 4x50m med­ley re­lay.

Sport­ing suc­cess runs in the fam­ily. Be­naim’s brother Sagie, mother Mazal and aunt Ze­hava Sh­mueli are all Is­raeli in­ter­na­tional run­ners. But such suc­cess only comes with hard work. Be­naim said: “My weekly sched­ule in­cludes two morn­ing and six evening pool ses­sions at Swiss Cot­tage, where I am coached by Dave Hobbs, and one at the Crys­tal Palace Na­tional Recre­ation Cen­tre, and also three ‘land’ ses­sions in which I am run­ning or work­ing out in the gym.”

Be­naim’s long-term aim is to com­pete for Is­rael in the 2012 Olympics. This sum­mer’s per­for­mances in­di­cate that she is well on the way to achiev­ing her goal.

Su­san Hal­ter cel­e­brated her 82nd birth­day by winning three medals at the Euro­pean Mas­ters Cham­pi­onships in Cadiz, Spain. Com­pet­ing in the 80-85-year cat­e­gory, the for­mer Olympian took sil­ver in the 50m back­stroke, bronze in the 200m back­stroke and 100m freestyle.

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