CALI (COL), July 26, 2013: Rhythmic gymnasts took to the floor at El Pueblo Coliseum today, kicking off the Gymnastics competitions at The World Games 2013 Cali. Following a delay of 30 minutes caused by temperatures above the critical mark of 30 degrees in the training facilities, the highly anticipated Hoop and Ball competitions got underway in front of an enthusiastic and supportive crowd.
Ganna Rizatdinova of Ukraine and Melitina Staniouta of Belarus prevailed in the Hoop and Ball finals respectively at the end of an exciting day of competition in Cali.
Representing the Latin American continent, multiple Pan American Games Champion Cynthia Valdez Perez of Mexico and Colombian Carolina Velez enjoyed particular support from the local fans, who demonstrated their Gymnastics expertise by appreciating flawless body movements and mastery of the apparatus.
Rizatdinova left no doubt about her supremacy on Hoop during today’s competitions, registering the highest scores for difficulty and execution in both qualification and final. The 20-year-old Ukrainian thrilled the public with her strong expressiveness, beautiful body lines and elegance. Her 17.950 total in the final meant that Staniouta, who had a .05 penalty in her final routine, had to settle for Silver second with a total of 17.450. Bronze went to 17-year-old Elizaveta Nazarenkova of Russia, who improved her performance from the preliminaries to score 17.033 in the final.
Alina Maksymenko (UKR) had high hopes after the preliminaries, when she ranked second behind her compatriot, but a missed catch after a stunningly high throw of her hoop at the end of her final routine left her disappointed. She dropped back into 6th place.
Even though she trailed the top three by nearly .5 points, France’s Kseniya Moustafaeva was looking good in fourth position during qualifying. She showed flawlessly executed spiraling pirouettes, but she fell back to 5th place scoring .2 points less in the final.
Aged just 19 but already highly experienced, Staniouta improved her qualifying score by nearly .5 points in the final to take the Gold medal on Ball (17.800). She beat top qualifier Rizatdinova (17.766) and Maksymenko, who came back strongly with a 9.000 execution score after making a mistake in qualification. Her 17.550 total won her the Bronze.
Nazarenkova had to accept deductions in the preliminaries as well as the final, but she confirmed her solid fourth place. Her compatriot Anna Trubnikova, who tied with Staniouta during qualification (17.316), disappointingly dropped to the bottom of the table in the final, after she was penalised with a .8 deduction. She missed the ball at the very first throw of her routine and it went out of bounds.
The Rhythmic Gymnastics competitions in Cali continue tomorrow with qualification and final on Clubs starting at 15:00 local time. The Ribbon competitions had to be cancelled due to strong air draughts caused by the air conditioning system in the venue.