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The Thirteenth Maccabiah: 5749

July 3 to July 13, 1989

Notable Athleths

  • The outstanding athletes in the 13th Maccabiah Games were the Americans Rick Ehrenberg (among the worlds best in the 800 and 1500 meters), free style swimmer John Witschel (holding the 200 meter American record in free style swimming and among the 20 best in the world in short distance pool swimming), and the Israeli Eran Grommi (champion and Israeli record holder in backstroke).  Among the outstanding women were Ruth Grodsky (who captured 4 individual Gold Medals) and Jeannie Sasser (six Golds, three of which were team wins
  • Canadian marathon runner Dave
  • American Ken Felix, hammer thrower (70.06 meters)
  • Etty Eluz (10.57 seconds in 100 meter)
  • Rogel Nachum, who posted a record in the jump (16.77 meters) 
  • Nadav Handfield
  • Koren Anmisha

Basic Facts

  • 4,400 athletes from 46 countries competed in thirty two categories.
  • South African athletes participated in competitions individually under the heading ׂShaar Haolam׃ (The rest of the world), since their participation had been forbidden by the International Olympic Committee because of their apartheid policy.  Much to their disappointment, their soccer and junior soccer players were forbidden to compete. 
  • 50,000 spectators in the opening ceremony
  • Swimming seemed supreme with 17 Israeli records and 20 Maccabiah records set. 
  • Twenty four countries won Gold Medals at the 13th Maccabiah.    Israel won 97 Gold Medals, 82 Silver and 79 Bronze, leading the US -- 52-73-74, Canada -- 33-21-16, and Brazil -- 15-9-7. 

Joining the Party: Countries who participated for the first time

  • For the first time, since World War II, an East European contingent participated -- 57 athletes and their escorts, representing the Soviet Union and Lithuania (wrestlers of international standing, table tennis players, swimmers and weight lifters, Yugoslavia (14) in comparison to one from the previous Maccabiah, and Hungary.  For the first time also, there were contingents from Cuba (7), Hong Kong, Korea (one multi-faceted athlete who competed in karate, badminton and the 100 meter race) and Singapore. 
  • Spain, which did not participate in the 12th Maccabiah, this time sent a team of junior soccer players and a fencing team.

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