ISRAELI SKATER Vladislav Bykanov (right) leads early on in his heat..
A mere 76 hundredths of a second were all that stood between short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov and a place in the 1,500-meters semifinals at the Sochi Olympics on Monday.
Bykanov, who carried the Israel flag in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics last Friday, needed to finish in the top three in his heat to be among the 19 semifinalists.
However, he was overtaken by South Korea’s Se Young Park in the second to last lap and ended his heat in fourth place in a time of 2:21.63 minutes.
The 24-year-old, who moved to Israel from the Ukraine in 1994, will be hoping to make amends by advancing from the heats in the 500m and 1,000m races on Thursday and next Tuesday, respectively.
Two more Israelis will be in action on Tuesday when Evgeni Krasnopolski and Andrea Davidovich compete in the short program of the pair’s event. Krasnopolski and Davidovich will perform to the music of the “Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra by Bell”. The competition will continue with the free skating on Wednesday. The duo, which is based in Hackensack, New Jersey, qualified for the Olympics in the Nebelhorn Trophy, the final qualifying event for the 2014 Games held last September, by finishing in 10th place.
Alexei Bychenko, who also trains in Hackensack, New Jersey, will take part in the men’s figure skating competition on Thursday and Friday.
Skier Virgile Vandeput will compete in the second week of the Olympics when he participates in the giant slalom (February 19) and slalom (February 22). Vendeput is expected to finish among the top half of skiers in both events.
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