Israel’s national rhythmic gymnastics team came tantalizingly close to claiming its second medal at the European Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sunday, finishing the “three balls and two ribbons” final in fourth place.

Yuval Filo, Alona Koshevatskiy, Ekaterina Levina, Karina Lykhvar, Ida Mayrin and Lihi Shochatovitch won an historic bronze medal in the all-around event in Baku on Friday, ending the final in third place behind Russia and Italy with a combined score of 34.838 points.

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The blue-and-white roster was rebuilt at the start of the year with the goal of reaching the Olympics for a third straight time in Rio 2016. The previous national teams advanced to the final both in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

Israel registered a score of 17.500 in the “three balls and two ribbons” competition on Sunday, which was ultimately only good enough for fourth place, while ending the 10 clubs final in seventh place with a result of 16.366 points.

Neta Rivkin just missed out on a medal in the individual all-around final on Saturday, finishing in fourth position with a total score of 71.599 points, a mere 0.05 points from Anna Rizatdinova of Ukraine.

Rivkin represented Israel in the past two Olympics, ending the all-around final in London in an impressive seventh position.

Israel’s Victoria Veinberg Filanovsky finished the all-around competition in 12th place in Baku.

The next target for Israel’s rhythmic gymnasts will be September’s World Championships in Izmir, Turkey.

Israel’s Linoy Ashram will return from Baku with three bronze medals from the junior competitions after finishing in third place in both the clubs and the ribbon finals on Sunday.

The 15-year-old, which claimed a bronze medal in the all-around contest on Saturday, recorded a result of 15.7 in the clubs final and 15.65 in the ribbon contest. Ashram will next turn her focus to the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in August.

Also Saturday, the contract awarding Israel the hosting of the 2016 European Championships in Holon was signed in the presence of the European Union of Gymnastics’ (UEG) President Georges Guelzec and the chairman of Israel’s Gymnastics Association, Ophir Pines-Paz.

Israel competed against Bulgaria to host the event and following the presentation of each candidate in the frame of the EC meeting held in January, the UEG Executive Committee attributed the event to Israel and the city of Holon.

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