Sanford dreaming of gold
ATHLETICS Donald Sanford looks well-placed to win a medal in next week’s European Athletics Championships in Zurich after running an Israeli record of 45.53 seconds in Belgium.
Having achieved one of the fastest times in Europe this year, US-born Sanford shaved 21 hundreds of a second of the previous record in Belgium. His personal best is 45.23 seconds which he achieved before he received Israeli citizenship after marrying his girlfriend, Daniella.
Sanford finished fourth at the European Athletics Championships in Hungary two years ago, but he failed to qualify for the semi-finals at London 2012 after his running shoes were stolen before the heats.
Ten athletes will represent Israel in Zurich, with Sanford the best medal prospect along with women’s triple jumper Hanna Knyazeva-Minenko. She finished fourth at the Olympics, representing Ukraine, and sixth at last summer’s World Championships after marrying an Israeli and taking citizenship.
The Israel squad also features marathon runners Bavaba Brahon, Yamaharan Yosef, Amir Ramon and Zohar Zimron, as well as Amro Almayah, Girma Amra (both 10,000m), Noam Neeman (3,000m), and high-jumper Maayan Shahaf.