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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Arab swimmer to represent Israel in EU championship

Jowan Qupty, who holds best Israeli result in 100m breaststroke, wins Swimming Association appeal demanding he be allowed to compete in EU Swimming Championship

Arab-Israeli swimmer Jowan Qupty will represent Israel in the European Swimming Championship. Qupty, 22, was originally denied a spot on the national team. He won a Swimmer’s Association appeal over the decision on Thursday.

According to the Swimming Association, Qupty’s participation in the competition depends on his achieving a better result in the 100m breaststroke than that of Imri Ganiel, who was chosen to compete in the event.
Qupty was excluded from the 100×4 mixed relay set to take place at the swimming championship in Debrecen, Hungary, in June, despite the fact that his result in the 100m breaststroke was better than Ganiel’s.

“We shouldn’t have had to deal with this situation to begin with, but the (Swimming Association) eventually came to the right decision. Justice was done. I’m going to win the competition which will hopefully bring us closer to the Olympics,” Qupty told Ynet after the ruling.

Attorney Eyal Yaffe who represented Qupty said: “Qupty will represent Israel in the best possible way. Every swimmer on that team deserves their spot and so does Jowan, who earned his place just like any other swimmer did. I’m positive he won’t disappoint the association in the competition.”

The saga came to an end on Thursday after the parties involved took part in a mediation session led by Sarah Frish and Ofir Katz who were asked to bring an end to the conflict ahead of Friday, due to it being the last day for the championship’s registration.

The two parties consisting of the Swimming Association’s legal team, Qupty and his attorney sat for three hours before coming to an agreement.

The association claimed that Qupty did not meet the criteria required in order to participate in the championship.

Qupty’s attorney countered the association’s claims by presenting evidence which showed that in other championships, swimmers who did not meet the required criteria still participated in the competition.

Yaffe further addressed Qupty’s result in the 100m breaststroke which is clearly better than that of Ganiel, who was picked to compete in the event. The evidence shown was intended to prove that the designated spot on the swim team should go to the better swimmer.