Israeli gymnast Neta Rivkin.
(photo credit: AMIT SHISEL)
Israel’s rhythmic gymnasts doubled the delegation’s medal haul at the European Games on Sunday, scaling the podium three times in a single day in Baku, Azerbaijan.
After winning a silver medal in the all-around final last week, the national rhythmic gymnastics team of Yuval Filo, Alona Koshevatskiy, Ekaterina Levina, Karina Lykhvar and Ida Mayrin, took a bronze in the group ribbons final to start the day before winning a silver in the clubs and hoops.
Israel registered a result of 17.1 points in the ribbons and 17.5 in the clubs and hoops.
In between the national team’s two finals, Neta Rivkin claimed a bronze medal in the individual hoop final.
“I thanked the girls for all that they did and told them that no matter what, we have the great privilege of representing the State of Israel,” said national team coach Irina Vigdorchik. “The girls have been blessed by God. I was pleased with their performance because I knew they were tired. However, they continue to prove their worth time and again.”
Vigdorchik added that as far as they are concerned the time to party is already over, with September’s World Championships the team’s next goal ahead of next summer’s Olympics in Rio.
Rivkin, who took part in three finals on Sunday, recorded a result of 18.150 to finish third in the hoop final.
“I’m really happy that I managed to end the competition with a medal,” said Rivkin. “This is something I will always remember from my career.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated the gymnasts on Twitter. “Congratulations to the Israel delegation to the European Games for their impressive achievements. The citizens of Israel are proud of our sportsmen and sportswomen.
Well done!” Meanwhile, Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez, winner of four Tour de France stages but dogged in recent years by alleged links to doping, claimed men’s road race gold at the European Games on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Astana rider prevailed in a sprint battle for the line with Ukraine’s Andriy Grivko, an Astana teammate, taking silver and Czech Petr Vakoc bronze.
Another Spaniard, Jesus Herrada, was fourth after providing sterling assistance to Sanchez, who claimed a bronze medal in the individual time trial on Thursday.
Sanchez knew he had victory in the bag meters before the finish line at Freedom Square, sitting up and raising both hands in triumph at the end of the 215.8 km race around the streets of the capital.Reuters contributed to this report.