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Israeli figure skaters’ Olympic dreams on ice after failing to reach finals

Aimee Buchanan, of Israel perform during the ladies single figure skating short program in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018.
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

The Israeli figure skating team's Winter Olympic hopes have been put on ice after failing to land a spot in the final competition round, finishing in eighth place overall in the ten-team field.

Israel finished last in both the ice dance duet and women’s solo categories on Sunday, despite a personal best for US-born skater Aimee Buchanan whose performance bumped Israel into eighth place overall, ahead of France and South Korea.

Pairs team Adel Tankova, 17, and Ronald Zilberberg, 21, scored a 44.61 for their cha-cha and samba inspired ice dance routine at the Olympic's Gangneung Ice Arena on Sunday, landing them in tenth place.

Canada’s and Scott Moir kept the country in firm command of the team event with a routine scoring 80.51.

Roberto SCHMIDT (AFP)

Buchanan’s solo routine earned her a personal best with a score of 46.30 -- 1.23 points ahead of her previous top performance, Israel’s Ynet news website reported.

But it wasn’t enough to beat Russian skater Evgenia Medvedeva, who also conjured up a personal best score. With Russian flags waving in the stands the judges rewarded her routine which began with a triple flip - triple toe-loop combination with a career best 81.06.

Israel landed in eighth place in the ten team field with 13 points, putting them out of the running for the final medal events.

(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Five teams will advance to the finals: Canada in the lead with 46 points, Russian athletes (competing under a neutral flag) who scored 36, the US with 36, Italy with 35, and Japan with 32 points.

China (with 18 points) and Germany (16 points) both finished ahead of Israel in sixth and seventh place respectively, but also failed to qualify for the final event.

The team event reaches its conclusion on Monday with the men's free skate in which Canada rely on dual Sochi silver medalist Patrick Chan, followed by the women and ice dance free skate.

Israel, which has never won a Winter Olympic medal, this year sent its largest ever winter team to the Pyeongchang Games.

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