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Lonah Chemtai Salpeter Wins Gold, Herzog arrives in Israel, Beer Sheva & Hapoel Haifa ready for Europa League

1) Remember this name, Lonah Chemtai Salpeter. The Israeli runner won the 10,000 meter run in 31:43.29 at the European Championships in Berlin and became the first Israeli woman to win a track Gold Medal at the championships. Chemtai moved to Israel from Kenya in 2008 to serve as a nanny for the children of Kenya’s Ambassdor. While in the Holy Land, Chemtai met Israeli running coach Dan Salpeter and the two fell in love and married in 2014. In 2016, she was granted citizenship and competed for Israel in the Olympics that same year.

Following the race Salpeter said, “I am really happy and very excited. My plan was to win, nothing else. It was a difficult race. I made the move and paced harder because I knew that if I do not do it, they would leave me on the last kilometer. I always watched the Dutch girl behind me on the screen. This medal is an honour for my flag, for my country and for me, for all the hard work I did for it. The people were supporting us a lot like they were saying “keep going”, I liked that. I came here mentally prepared.”

2) Andi Herzog landed in Israel and spoke to the local press for the first time: “I am happy to be here and excited to be named the new Israel National Team Head Coach. We will have some hard challenges but I truly believe in the soccer in Israel and my players. I believe in my abilities to achieve significant progress to the football here in Israel. As the coach of a national team you have to be the biggest fan of your own players. I hope that we will get big support from our fans in the country. Together with Willi Ruttensteiner we will put together a professional staff with top level elite Israeli coaches. El El Israel! Let’s go!”

***Make sure to listen to this week’s Sports Rabbi Podcast for analysis of the Herzog hire and an exclusive interview with Deshaun Thomas***

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3) Hapoel Beer Sheva faces APOEL Nicosia in the first leg of third round Europa League qualifying on Thursday night at 20:00 Israel time at Turner Stadium in Beer Sheva. Head Coach Barak Bachar looked ahead to the challenge that awaits his side, “I don’t know who are the favorites, but we are playing a prestigious club who have participated in both the Champions League and Europa League with experienced players and a deep squad. They are a very strong team but we will come prepared and will do what we need to do because we believe in ourselves. The goal is to reach the group stages but I don’t want to look to far ahead.”

4) Hapoel Haifa will also play in third round Europa League qualifying when they host Atalanta at Sammy Ofer Stadium. Head Coach Nir Klinger spoke about Thursday’s match at 19:00, “We proved that anything is possible in football. I can feel the positive energy from the training sessions and it a good feeling. We are facing a club that is on the border of excellency. This is a very difficult and high hurdle, but from my experience in Europe there is a lot on the line when the first leg is at home.”

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