TEL AVIV, Israel -- United States athletes hoped to increase their gold-medal catch Wednesday, the second day of competition in the 11th Maccabiah Games.
Swimming and basketball will continue to dominate the day, but competition in other major sports scheduled during the 10-day 'Jewish Olympics,' including soccer, gymnastics and volleyball, will also get underway.
American swimmers won three gold medals in Tuesday's events, Israel two and Mexico one. In addition, the U.S. team trounced France 108-44 in the opening round of the men's basketball tournament.
New York Republican Congressman Jack Kemp was on hand for the opening swimming events at the Tel Aviv University Olympic pool and awarded the first gold medals to the winners.
In basketball, the Americans face stiff competition from Israel, Canada and possibly Brazil, according to Sam Stern, the U.S. men's coach.
The day's soccer activity will include the following preliminary games: Belgium-United States, Israel-Australia, Argentina-Sweden, Ireland-Colombia, Holland-Peru, Brazil-Britain, South Africa-Germany, and Mexico-Denmark.
Wednesday will also mark the start of the individual and team gymnastics competitions for men and women.
In Tuesday's swimming events:
-- Chris Weissman of Westport, Conn., clocked 1:06.68 in the men's 100-meter breaststroke and Eric Kaufman of Orinda, Calif., timed 59.40 in the 100-backstroke to win the first two gold medals.
-- The U.S. squad in the men's 4 x 100-freestyle medley clocked 3:30.87, a Maccabiah record.
-- Israel's Hadar Rubinstein edged Brazil's Paula Amorim Filler in the women's 200-butterfly, winning in 1:08.33. Filler's time was 1:08.63. Another Israeli swimmer, Lior Birkhan, set a Maccabiah record in the women's 200-individual medley -- 2:29:29, ahead of Julie Bassichis of Plantation, Fla., who clocked 2:30.05.
-- Mexico's Hellen Plaschinski took the first gold for her country, winning the women's 100-freestyle in 58.66 for another meet record.
The U.S. basketball team led France at halftime 55-29. In other basketball games, Brazil beat Venezuela 97-33 and Canada defeated Germany 85-55.