track and field
A member of Israel's track and field team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Handelsman competed in two middle distance events, the 800-meter and the 1500-meter. In the shorter race, he finished fourth in his preliminary heat in a time of 1:47.90 and just missed qualifying for the next round by 0.18 seconds. In the 1500-meter, Handelsman placed sixth in the preliminaries with a time of 3:45.05, but it was not good enough for him to advance to the semifinals.
In the early to mid-1980s, Handelsman was considered one of the finest middle distance runners in the world. Born in South Africa, he competed at the University of Southern California and lettered twice (1982 and 1983). Handelsman was the team captain in 1983, and is still tied for the second fastest 800-meter run in school history (1:46.5). Following his graduation from USC, Handelsman continued to compete actively; and in 1984, as a member of the Santa Monica Track Club, he ran the third leg on the 11th fastest 4x800-meter relay team in history (it was seventh fastest at the time). They finished with a time of 7:10.03 and Handelsman's split was a terrific 1:46.2.
During this time, Handelsman also competed for the Israeli National team and was one of their top middle distance runners, competing in the 400-meter, the 800-meter, and the 1500-meter. It was in the 800-meter that Mark had the most success, and in 1981, he had the 10th fastest time in the world in that event. Two years later, at the first-ever track and field World Championships, Handlesman competed in the 800-meter and finished fourth in his preliminary heat with a time of 1:49.02 but did not advance to the semifinals. As of 2001, Handlesman was still among Israel's leaders in the 400-meter (ninth -- 47.80), the 800-meter (first -- 1:46.46), the 1500-meter (ninth -- 3:45.05). He was also a member of Israel's three fastest 4x400-meter teams.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. June 9, 1961
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