The Durban Jewish Community now numbers at about 2000 members, down from its heyday number of 7500. Nonetheless that community still plays an active role in the greater Jewish community including their participation at the Maccabi Games. 7 KZN based Participants took part in the games and 5 of those 7 won medals. However one athlete in particular made a huge impact on the games and became SA’s most notable individual performance at the Maccabiah. That legacy belongs to non-other than Adam Lipschitz.
Lipschitz, a student and Glenwood High old boy started running cross-country and athletic events in primary and then high school but only took a keen interest in the sport in grade 11. At the beginning of his semi-professional career he represented South Africa at a junior level in Cross Country (8 KM) and then represented SA again at an U20 level in the 5000 Meter and 3000 meter steeple chase events. Unfortunately an injury prevented him from furthering his career at that stage and kept him from competing in the 19th Maccabiah 2013.
After recovering from injury Lipschitz began training and competing again on the road only keeping a watchful eye on the 20th Maccabiah 2017. The unassuming athlete arrived a few days early in Israel to spend time with family, acclimatise and train. Then came the first result… he had won the 10KM night-time road race in Jerusalem in a time of 33:21 beating 2 American competitors to the finish. Not only had he won the Maccabiah race within the event, he had won the event overall. Only 4 days later when the track events began, another brilliant result surfaced. Adam had won the 5000 meter track event with a time of 14:44.50. Something he himself had not expected. He overcame two Ethiopian-Israelis on the last lap to take the gold medal.
When Asked about his feelings on winning the 10KM road Race and then 5000 meter event, he had the following to say:” Both races were very different. The first one, the 10km night race was in the heart of Jerusalem and ran through the old city as well. It was very special and unique. There was a lot of support and so it made for a great atmosphere. However the 2nd race was a lot more difficult as I saw the start list in the morning and saw 3 guys had much faster times than me entering the race but this was mainly due to the fact that I haven’t had a track season in 4 years. But I was in shape and made sure to make the race as tactical as possible. I ended up winning the race with 30m to go as I went into the last lap in 3rd place. I ended up closing the last lap in 58 seconds. So the second gold was a lot more cherishing as I had to work a lot harder than the first.”
Lipschitz also made a point of mentioning that he was incredibly proud to represent his country again but also the Durban Jewish Community. A community that he holds dear to his hear, playing an active role at his shul and being an active CSO volunteer.
Not only has Adam made the SA Jewish community incredibly proud, he has also set himself up to restart his athletic career.” I am very happy with my results as it’s given me the platform to compete internationally again. I hope to continue the hard training and compete in a few half marathon or 10kms in Europe later this year.Back to News