Competing against an Olympic gold-medalist

Anthony Ervin with his gold medal at the Olympics.

A YOUNG Australian Jewish swimmer will compete against American Olympic gold-medallist Anthony Ervin at the Maccabiah Games.

Australian swimmer Kyron Israelsohn, who will compete against Ervin, said he’s excited to be standing on the blocks next to the champion.

“It definitely will motivate me to train harder and try and be at the same level when I’m standing up there,” Israelsohn told The AJN.

“With that quality of swimmers at the Maccabiah Games it will be quite tough to win gold, but my aim is to medal and that would be a great result.”

Ervin, who won two gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games, said he is “very excited to be participating in the 20th World Maccabiah Games among the Jewish athletes of the world”.

“I will be competing for Team USA and feel privileged that through sport I’ve been given the opportunity to visit and compete in my ancestral home.”

Anthony Goodridge, the coach of Australia’s open and junior swimming teams, said Ervin will raise the profile of the Maccabiah swimming meet. 

“The parents of our juniors are really excited to have their kids on the same pool-deck as such an amazing swimmer who is the fastest man in the world. He’s the reigning Olympic champion and this is a big coup,” he said.

Goodridge said the American team has a history of bringing Olympic swimmers to the Maccabiah Games. Lenny Krayzelburg, Scott Goldblatt, Jason Lezak and Garrett Weber-Gale have all competed.

JOSHUA LEVI