Alon Mandel

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Alon Mandel
אלון מנדל
Personal information
Full name Alon Mandel
Nationality Israeli
Born (1988-08-23) August 23, 1988 (age 25)
United States
Sport
Sport Swimming
Club Maccabi Kiryat Bialik
College team University of Michigan

Alon Mandel (Hebrew: אלון מנדל‎; born 23 August 1988 in the United States) is an Israeli swimmer who represented Israel at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Mandel is the national record holder (2014) in 50 and 100 meter butterfly. Mandel won the 100 meter butterfly at the 2009 Maccabiah Games and still holds the record in that event.

Biography[edit]

Mandel is Jewish,[1] and was born in the United States and was raised in Netanya. He has a bachelor degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in Environmental Engineering from Tel Aviv University, and a Masters degree in political science from Tel Aviv University.

Mandel started swimming at age 6 and began training at the club "Hapoel Emek Hefer". Initially he raced in backstroke, and set records for youth in both the 50 and the 100 meter backstroke. In 2006, at age 18, Alon has been recognized as an athlete prodigy, and postponed his mandatory army service in order to study chemical engineering at the University of Michigan in parallel to training with the varsity men's swim team at the University of Michigan, along with Michael Phelps and his coach Bob Bowman. During his training in Michigan, Alon switched his primary stroke from backstroke to butterfly, although he kept competing in backstroke for the University of Michigan. During his tenure at the University of Michigan, Mandel has won 4 NCAA All-American accolades, 5 Big-10 titles and 3 NCAA Honorable Mention All-American accolades.

In Israel Mandel represented Maccabi Kiryat Bialik Club between 2008 and 2012 and Hapoel Dolphin Netanya between 2012 and 2013.

2008 European Championship[edit]

At the 29th European Swimming Championships held in Eindhoven, Netherlands, in 2008, Mandel set a new national record in the 200 meter butterfly in the time of 1:59.79 minutes, becoming the first Israeli swimmer to swim this event under two minutes. To ensure his participation at the Beijing Olympics, Mandel was supposed to finish his race among the first 12 swimmers, but he only finished in 13th place with only two hundredths of a second from 12th place. However, couple of months later, it became clear that the Greek swimmer who had won the 200 butterfly, Ioannis Drymonakos, used banned substances and therefore was suspended. As a result, it was determined that Mandel moved up to 12th place, and the Israeli Olympic Committee confirmed his participation in the 2008 Olympics.

In July 2008, Mandel broke the Israeli national record in the 100 meter butterfly, setting it on 53.61 seconds.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games[edit]

While in Beijing, just one day before the Opening Ceremony, Mandel was informed of the death of his father, who was killed in an accident at his home. After consulting with his family, Mandel decided to stay in China and participate in the competitions. In the 200 meter butterfly, which was held only four days after Mandel had been informed on his father's loss, Mandel broke the Israeli record and improved it to 1:59:27 minutes, finishing 28th. Three days later, Mandel set another Israeli record in 100 meter butterfly, 52.99 seconds, becoming the only Israeli to this day (2014) swim under 53 seconds in that event. Mandel finished in 36th place, less than half a second from the last spot in the semi-finals.

2009 Universiade[edit]

At the 25th Summer Universiade held in Belgrade, Serbia, in July 2009, Mandel set a new Israeli record of 24.27 seconds in the 50 butterfly. After his return from Belgrade, while taking part in the swimming competition of the 18th Maccabiah Games held at Wingate, he won the gold medal in the 100 butterfly, setting a new Maccabiah new record of 52.99 seconds. At the 26th Summer Universiade held in Shenzhen, China, in August 2011, he finished eighth in the 50 meter butterfly. In both of his appearances at the Universiade, Mandel represented the University of Michigan.

2009 World Championship[edit]

Following the 2009 Maccabiah Games, Mandel competed at the 13th FINA World Championships held in Rome, Italy. In that competition he set a new Israeli record Mandel in both the 50 meter butterfly (23.90 seconds, place 31st) and the 100 meter butterfly (52.68 seconds, 44th place). In the relay event of 4x100 medley relay, he swam the butterfly time of 51.60 seconds, and helped the team to finish in the 17th place, with a new Israeli record of 3:36:23 minutes, an improvement of more than five seconds the previous peak set in 2007.

2009 Israeli National Championship[edit]

At the 2009 Israeli national championship held that year, Mandel remained surprisingly outside the A-final in the 100m butterfly, after finishing the prelims only in the ninth place. However, from B-final held that evening he then set a new Israeli and international record of 52.56 seconds, which is still the current (2014) national record.

2010 European Championship[edit]

At the 30th European Swimming Championships held in Budapest, Hungary, in August 2010, Mandel finished in 15th place in the 100 meter butterfly, setting a time of 53.19 seconds (his best after the swim suits were banned). In the 50 meter butterfly he finished 17th in the time of 23.98 seconds, in the 19th place in 50 backstroke (25.66 seconds), in 33rd place in 200 freestyle (1:52:54 minutes) and in the 10th place in the 4x100 meter medley relay, alongside Jonathan Kopelev (backstroke), Danny Melnik (breastroke) and Guy Barnea (freestyle), swimming the time of 3:40:26 minutes.

2010 World Championship (Short Course)[edit]

At the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25-meter pool) held in Dubai in December 2010, Mandel set several Israeli national records. In the event of 50 meter butterfly he set a record of 23.39 seconds, finishing 19th and missed by 4 hundredths of the semi-final stage. In the 100 meter butterfly he set a record of 52.34 seconds, and finished in 30th place. In the 200 meter butterfly he set another Israeli record (1:56.67 minutes), which was broken only one heat afterwards by Gal Nevo who improved Mandel's time by 0.01 seconds. Mandel finished in 24th place in that event. In the 100 freestyle he finished 33rd, setting a personal best of 49.02 seconds.

2011 European Championship (Short Course)[edit]

At the 15th European Short Course Championship (25-meter pool ) held in Szczecin, Poland, Mandel finished in the seventh place in the 50 meter backstroke, swimming the distance in the time of 23.96 seconds, only three hundredths of a second slower than Guy Barnea's Israeli record. In the 100 meter butterfly, Mandel set a new Israeli record of 52.12 seconds, finishing 12th. Mandel also was a member of two relays, 4x50 freestyle and 4x50 medley, who improved the Israeli records in both events.

2012 European Championship[edit]

At the 31st European Swimming Championship held in Debrecen, Hungary, in May 2012, Mandel finished on the 15th in the 50 meter butterfly with the time of 24.05 seconds. In the 100 meter butterfly he finished in the 22nd place, swimming 53.57 seconds. Being the fastest butterfly swimmer in the Israeli National Team, Mandel also swam in the 4x100 meter medley relay team with Jacob Toumrkin, Imri Ganiel and Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or, who finished in the seventh place in the time of 3:37.77 minutes, missing the Olympic criterion by less than a second.

2012 World Championship (Short Course)[edit]

Towards the end of his career, Mandel participated in the 11th Swimming World Championships (25-meter pool) held in Istanbul, Turkey, in December 2012. Mandel helped the Israeli Team to win the 10th place in the 4x100 medley relay with teammates Jonathan Kopelev (backstroke), Gal Nevo (breastroke) and Guy Barnea (freestyle), who set a new Israeli record of 3:32:43 minutes. He swam the butterfly leg with the time of 52.80 seconds.

On 22 July 2013 Mandel announced his retirement from competitive swimming.

As of June 2013 Mandel was elected as a board member of the Olympic Committee of Israel, and currently takes part in the finance committee and the sport committee, which assists Olympic athletes in their career transition after retirement.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jews in the Olympics: 63 Athletes, 7 Countries". Jewishinstlouis.org. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 

External links[edit]