Israeli speed skater wins European championship

Ben Sales

(JTA) — An Israeli speed skater, Vladislav Bykanov, won gold in the 3000-meter race of the European Short Track Speed Skating championship.

The win at the race in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, Sunday is the first ever by an Israeli in the competition, according to Ynet News. Bykanov, 26, won the race by 15 seconds, beating world champion Russian speedskater Viktor Ahn by some 500 meters and 15 seconds.

Bykanov, an immigrant to Israel from Ukraine, competed in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics for Israel. In Sochi, he failed to qualify for the 1,500-meter semifinals by less than a second. He had carried the Israeli flag for Israel’s delegation during the Games’ opening ceremonies.

“I am very pleased with my performance in this season, because I manage to stay focused even when I fail,” Bykanov told Ynet. “Of course, training with the Dutch team has also been an enormous help.”