Israeli gymnasts claim silver medal in Worlds in Turkey

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September 29, 2014 05:56
1 minute read.
Rhythmic Gymnastics

Israel’s Neta Rivkin ended the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships Individual All-Around final in a career-best ninth place in Izmir, Turkey on Friday.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Israel national team won an historic silver medal at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships on Sunday, finishing the groups five clubs final in second place in Izmir, Turkey.

Yuval Filo, Alona Koshevatskiy, Ekaterina Levina, Karina Lykhvar and Ida Mayrin recorded a combined result of 16.983 points and were beaten only by Spain, which registered a score of 17.433.

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Israel, which won a bronze medal in the all-around final at the European Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan earlier this year, capped a sensational championships in Izmir after also ending the all-around final in fifth place on Saturday and finishing the three balls and two ribbons competition in sixth position on Sunday.

The Israel 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 team already looks well on course to do so, with the previous national sides advancing to the final both in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

Teams compete only in an all-around competition at the Olympics.

Coaches Irina Vigdorchik, Ela Samofalov, Raya Irgo and choreographer Ayelet Zysman have been responsible for the team’s success over the past decade.

“We are delighted. This is an amazing achievement,” said team captain Koshevatskiy. “We have accomplished this after many months of hard work.

After finishing in third place at the European Championships we have finished in second place at the World Championships and it is amazing we did so in Turkey despite all the difficulties we had competing here.”

The Israeli delegation’s participation in the championships in Izmir was initially shrouded in doubt due to security concerns.

However, the Israeli Gymnastics Association ultimately received all the assurances it required from the International Gymnastics Federation, as well as the permission of the security forces in Israel.

“This is the greatest achievement in the history of Israeli gymnastics,” said IGA chairman Ophir Pines-Paz. “It is important to remember how hard we had to fight in order to get the team to these championships. It brings us great pride to see the Israeli flag waving on Turkish soil.”


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