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Jonatan KOPELEV
Sport Swimming
NOC Israel   
GenderMen
Born01 Oct 1991 in Haifa, ISR
Height1.91 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Monada, son Kai [2019]
Occupation
Coach
Languages
English, Hebrew
Higher education
Business, Economics - The Open University of Israel: Israel
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up swimming at age seven at the Maccabi Haifa Carmel club in Israel.
Why this sport?
His mother wanted him to learn how to swim.
General Interest
Nicknames
Johnny (Athlete, 04 Jul 2012)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Aaron Peirsol. (Athlete, 04 Jul 2012)
Injuries
He missed the 2012 Olympic Games in London after having his appendix removed. (timesofisrael.com, 04 Aug 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Champions aren't made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision." [Muhammad Ali] (Facebook profile, 05 Nov 2017)
Milestones
He became the first Israeli swimmer to win a gold medal at the European championships when he triumphed in the 50m backstroke at the 2012 edition in Debrecen, Hungary. (jpost.com, 03 Jun 2012; SportsDeskOnline, 24 May 2012)
Other information
RETIREMENT
In May 2021 he announced his retirement from swimming. He planned to take up a coaching role at Maccabi Haifa Swimming in Israel. "After almost 24 years in which I have given the sport of swimming everything I had, I have decided to quit. There were so many sacrifices along the way and it was all worth it. I finish the 'swimmer' chapter of my life and I'm fully ready and hungry for the challenges ahead as a swimming coach. I loved representing my country all over the world and achieved some great success and made some great memories." (Instagram profile, 04 May 2021)

 Competition Highlights
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Semifinal 2019 Gwangju, KOR 50m Backstroke 25.02
8 2017 Budapest, HUN 50m Backstroke 24.85
Semifinal 2015 Kazan, RUS 50m Backstroke 25.04
8 2013 Barcelona, ESP 50m Backstroke 25.19
Heats 2013 Barcelona, ESP 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:39.31
Heats 2011 Shanghai, CHN 100m Backstroke 54.90
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2012 Istanbul, TUR 200m Backstroke 1:58.06
Heats 2012 Istanbul, TUR 100m Backstroke 51.82
Heats 2012 Istanbul, TUR 50m Backstroke 24.17
Heats 2012 Istanbul, TUR 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:32.43
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 50m Backstroke 24.28
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 100m Backstroke 52.98
Heats 2010 Dubai, UAE 200m Backstroke 1:57.05
European Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
8 2018 Glasgow, SCO 50m Backstroke 25.41
Heats 2018 Glasgow, SCO 100m Backstroke 56.81
5 2016 London, ENG 50m Backstroke 25.00
Heats 2016 London, ENG 100m Backstroke 55.15
Heats 2014 Berlin, GER 50m Freestyle 24.12
Heats 2014 Berlin, GER 100m Backstroke 56.04
Semifinal 2014 Berlin, GER 50m Backstroke 25.37
1 2012 Debrecen, HUN 50m Backstroke 24.73
Heats 2012 Debrecen, HUN 100m Backstroke 54.61
Heats 2010 Budapest, HUN 200m Backstroke 2:03.02
Semifinal 2010 Budapest, HUN 50m Backstroke 25.42
Semifinal 2010 Budapest, HUN 100m Backstroke 54.82
Heats 2010 Budapest, HUN 4 x 100m Medley Relay 3:40.26
European Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2015 Netanya, ISR 100m Backstroke 51.50
6 2015 Netanya, ISR 50m Backstroke 23.45
Heats 2015 Netanya, ISR 4 x 50m Medley Relay 1:35.95
Semifinal 2013 Herning, DEN 100m Backstroke 52.20
Semifinal 2013 Herning, DEN 50m Backstroke 24.23
Heats 2013 Herning, DEN 4 x 50m Medley Relay 1:36.47
12 2011 Szczecin, POL 100m Backstroke 52.60
13 2011 Szczecin, POL 50m Backstroke 24.43
27 2011 Szczecin, POL 200m Backstroke 1:58.37
12 2011 Szczecin, POL 4 x 50m Medley Relay  
8 2010 Eindhoven, NED 100m Backstroke 52.60
14 2010 Eindhoven, NED 200m Backstroke 1:57.78
Heats 2010 Eindhoven, NED 50m Butterfly 25.25
8 2010 Eindhoven, NED 50m Backstroke 24.58
39 2009 Istanbul, TUR 100m Backstroke 54.58
28 2009 Istanbul, TUR 200m Backstroke 1:58.10
43 2009 Istanbul, TUR 50m Backstroke 25.45