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En Route to Tokyo Olympics, Israeli Speed Skater Takes Bronze at European Championship

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Israeli speed skater Vladislav Bykanov. Photo: Instagram.

Israeli speed skater Vladislav Bykanov claimed a bronze medal this week at the European Short Track Speed Skating Championship in Hungary.

Bykanov, 30, took the bronze for the 1,500m race with a time of two minutes and 26.075 seconds, while Itzhak de Laat of the Netherlands earned the silver medal at two minutes and 25.960 seconds and Hungarian Shaoang Liu won gold with a time of two minutes and 25.871 seconds, according to the International Skating Union (ISU).

The Hungarian competitor stole the title from his own brother, Shaolin Sándor Liu, who lost his balance and fell down on the track, coming in 7th place.

The three-day ISU event in the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen took place from Jan. 24-26.

Bykanov previously won the gold medal in the 3,000m speed skating track at the 2015 and 2018 European Championships. 

He qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, becoming the first male athlete to qualify from Israel in short track speed skating. 

He was named Israel’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony, and one of only five Israeli athletes who qualified for the games. 

Bykanov came 19th in the 500m, 24th in the 1,000m, and 25th in the 1,500m. He also competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. If Bykanov qualifies for Tokyo 2020, it will be his third Summer Olympic Games.

Next week, he is set to compete at the Speed Skating World Cup in Calgary, Canada.

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