Israeli pair finishes last in ice dancing, Bykanov back for 500m

Tankova and Zilberberg competed at the Games thanks to Isabella Tobias and Ilia Tkachenko, who earned Israel’s berth in the ice dance by finishing in 12th place at the World Championships last year.

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February 20, 2018 04:58
2 minute read.
Israeli pair finishes last in ice dancing, Bykanov back for 500m

Israeli ice dancing duo Adel Tankova and Ronald Zilberberg (Reuters). (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel’s figure skaters completed their participation at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Monday, with Adel Tankova and Ronald Zilberberg ending the ice dance short dance in the 24th and final place.

The Israeli duo registered a score of 46.66, an improvement on their result in the team competition in Pyeongchang last week, but still nearly seven points behind the pair in 23rd place.

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Tankova and Zilberberg competed at the Games thanks to Isabella Tobias and Ilia Tkachenko, who earned Israel’s berth in the ice dance by finishing in 12th place at the World Championships last year.

Tobias and Tkachenko weren’t able to compete in Pyeongchang as Tkachenko’s requests for Israeli citizenship were turned down.

Both skaters must be citizens of their respective country to take part in the Olympics. In the World Championships, it is enough for one of them to be a citizen.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir made a perfect start in their bid to add another Olympic medal to the four they already possess by breaking their own ice dance short program world record to skate ahead of the field on Monday.

The pair have tasted defeat just once since coming out of retirement in late 2016, when a loss to France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron at the Nagoya Grand Prix Final last December was enough to make them tweak their program.

Virtue and Moir, who are competing in their last Olympics and played a key role in Canada’s team gold last week, scored 83.67 points for their sizzling Latin- themed routine, breaking their previous record mark of 82.68.

They edged out their French rivals, whose stellar skate had the audience clapping along to the Ed Sheeran soundtrack that accompanied their dance, by less than two points with Papadakis and Cizeron awarded 81.93 by the judges.

Virtue and Moir have two individual Olympic medals, gold from Vancouver in 2010 and silver in Sochi four years ago, as well as a 2014 team silver to go with last week’s gold.

On Tuesday, Israel’s short-track speedskater Vladislav Bykanov has another opportunity to progress past the heats at the Olympics for the first time in his career. Bykanov will compete in the 500 meters heats after being disqualified in the 1,500m and 1,000m competitions in Pyeongchang last week. He also came up short in the 1,500m, 1,000m and 500m competitions at the Sochi Games in Russia four years ago.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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