Israel’s national rhythmic gymnastics team is aiming for Olympic glory in Rio after making a historic finish on Sunday, taking home the gold and silver medals at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Israel.
After placing third to acquire the bronze medal in the all-around final on the opening day of the competition on Friday, the Israel national team, comprised of Yuval Filo, Alona Koshevatskiy, Ekaterina Levina, Karina Lykhvar and Ida Mayrin successfully obtained its first-ever gold medal at the European Championships after finishing with a score of 18.316 in the clubs and hoops final. Spain achieved the silver medal while Bulgaria acquired the bronze. The team favorite Russia only settled on the eighth place.
The title winning performance in the clubs and hoops came shortly after the Israel national team acquired a silver medal in the ribbons final after obtaining a total score of 18.400.
The ribbons title was won by Belarus, while the Spain settled on the third spot.
Last year, at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Israel national team also acquired a total of three medals, collecting silvers in the all-around final and in the clubs and hoops, while also obtaining a bronze in the ribbons.
The Israel national team was rebuilt early 2014 with the goal of qualifying for the Olympic Games for a third consecutive time in Rio 2016. The previous national teams managed to compete to the final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics and the current lineup is expected to do the same in Rio and perhaps even take home a medal.
Olympic medals are only awarded in the all-around event.
“We are so proud. We really enjoyed performing here. The crowd was amazing,” said Israel captain Koshevatskiy. “It is a realistic target to win a medal in Rio, but we are not thinking about it.” Over NIS 8 million were invested in the organization of the three-day competition hosted in Israel for the first time, with representative from 37 countries participating in the different events.
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