(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel's rhythmic gymnastics team won the country's first silver medal at the World Championships in Izmir, Turkey, on Sunday.
The Israeli team's winning routine earned a score of 16.983. Spain won the gold medal with a score of 17.433, and Belarus placed third at 16.60.
The Israeli team, with an average age of 16, included Alona Kushewtzki, Ida Meirin, Yuval Pilo, Katerina Levína, Karina Lichber, and Lihi Shuchtowitz, and was coached by Ira Vigdorchik.
This is the second time that Israel's rhythmic gymnastics team has earned a place on the podium at the World Championships, after winning the bronze medal in 2011 for its hoop and ribbons routine. The team also took home the bronze medal at the last European Championships.
After the winning performance, the team scored 16.850 in the balls and ribbons routine, placing sixth.
If Israel garners a repeat win at next year's World Championships, it will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.
"This is an amazing accomplishment for our team," Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat said. "The team's and the gymnasts' recent streak of success proves that they are among the top in the world in their sport and that gives us high hopes for [the Olympic Games in] Rio in 2016. This is so exciting and it makes our nation proud to make history, in Turkey of all places."