Israeli gymastics team wins European gold medal on way to Olympics

Holon (TPS) – The Israeli gymnastics won gold atthe European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship on Sunday in the clubs and hoop event, as well as silver in the ribbons event.

This year’s European championship was held in the team’s own home court of Holon, a coastal Israeli city.

“I felt extreme exhilaration, especially since this is the first European championship ever held in Israel.  Over the years I learned a lot, the most important thing being: ‘Just be yourself!  Hard work pays off and you will eventually achieve outstanding results,” said Israeli gymnast Tori Filanovsky.

“Congratulations to the Israeli rhythmic gymnastics team who gave us a gold medal in the european championship,” Ksenia Svetlova, an Israeli-Russian member of Knesset, congratulated the girls on her Twitter page. “The investment definitely payed off. Investing in more fields of sport will also pay off!”

The young ladies of Team Israel, Alona Koshevatsky, Karina Lykhvar, Ida Mayrin, Yuval Filo and Ekaterina Levina impressed judges on the final day of the championship, beating the Russian favorites with a six clubs and two hoops team routine.

Additionally, junior gymnast Nicol Zelikman won silver at the individual hoop event and a bronze medal in the individual ball event, bringing the total of Israeli medals to four: one gold, two silvers, and one bronze.

The current Israeli team is now the most decorated in Israeli history, having won several bronze medals in a previous European championship, a silver medal in the gymnastic world championship, and a silver medal in the 2015 European Games.

Today’s results guarantee the team’s presence in the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer and furthermore cement its position as a favorite to win Olympic medals.

“My ambition is to win an Olympic medal. My entire efforts are currently focused on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics; I am putting in my maximum effort and power to do the very best at the Olympics,” said teammate Neta Rivkin.