Yakov Toumarkin will be reprsenting Israel at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Swimmers Yakov Toumarkin and Andrea Murez have became the first Israelis to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Competing at swimming State Cup competition held at Netanya’s Wingate Institute over the weekend, the competition represented the first chance for swimmers to reach the qualifying times needed for the Olympics, and the pair achieved them with little fuss.

Toumarkin, who represented Israel in London in 2012, swam a time of 1:59.49 minutes in the 200m individual medley final, and 1:58.20 in the 200m backstroke final. He said: “I can already look Rio in the eye after achieving my goal of qualifying for the Olympics. However, my next goal after this event in this summer’s World Championships in Kazan, Russia.”

Murez, made aliyah to from the States last year and qualified in the 50m freestyle by swimming a new Israeli record time of 25.12. She said: “I thought I swam really well and I’m delighted to have qualified, I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”