1996, 2000, 2004
One of Israel's top female fencers, Ohayon has competed at three Olympiads in the foil. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she competed in both the individual and team foil events. In the individual competition, she easily defeated her first round opponent, Guatemala's Carmen Rodrigues, 15-2, but then lost, 15-10, in the second round to No. 8 seed Sabine Bau of Germany.
In Atlanta, Ohayon also competed in the team foil event. The Israelis, who were seeded No. 9 entering the Olympics, lost to China in the first round (29-45), but defeated the United States (45-39) to finish in ninth place. The other members of the team were Ira Slivotsky, Lydia Hatoel-Zuckerman, and Lilach Parisky.
Ohayon returned to the Olympics at the 2000 Sydney Games (she was ranked No. 40 in the world entering the Games), and reached the third round of the individual foil competition. After receiving a first round bye (she did not draw an opponent), she defeated Adeline Wuilleme of France in the next round (15-12). Her competition ended when she lost to Diana Bianchedi of France, 12-15.
Ohayon came into the 2004 Athens Olympics ranked 19th in the women's individual foil event. Unfortunately the Israeli drew a highly rated German opponent, Simone Bauer (ranked 13th in the competition) in the round of 32. Ayelet started very poorly in the first third of the match and never really got back into it. Ohayon lost 15-10 and was eliminated far earlier then expected. The Israeli fencer took the defeat very much to heart saying: "my preparations have gone down the drain. Everything I invested in my whole childhood has gone down the drain. My entire life from age 5 ends here."
Ohayon, who began to fence because her brother competed in the sport, finished eighth in the 1995 European Championships, and placed seventh in the individual foil event at the 1996 and 1997 European Championships. Ohayon also won the gold medal at the 2000 European Championships. She finished in seventh place at the 1997 World Cup Championships. At the 1999 World Championships, she finished 20th in the foil competition. Three years later, at the 2002 Worlds, Ayelet finished 15th in the women's foil. She came in third in the 2002 World Cup tournament.
Ohayon has been a fixture in the Israeli Olympic squad for ten years, but she came very close to missing out on the 2004 Olympics. A very strong performance in the last qualification tournament, held in Belgium, saw her reach the final on April 17, 2004 and qualify. Among her other accomplishments this year, Ayelet became the first Israeli athlete to compete in Jordan as she was invited to a tournament in the Arab country this year.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 20, 1974
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
New York Times, July 23-August 3, 1996