Stuttgart, Sept 11, 2015: Reigning World Rhythmic Gymnastics champion Yana Kudryavtseva (RUS) captured her third consecutive World All-around title Friday night in Stuttgart (GER), cementing her status as a favorite for gold at the Rio Olympic Games next summer.
After winning gold with the Ball, Clubs, Ribbon and in the team competition earlier this week, the All-around title is the 17-year-old’s fifth gold medal at these World Championships, and her 13th overall. Since beginning to compete on the senior level in 2013, Kudryavtseva has proven nearly unbeatable in competition, and Friday was no exception.
But it was not quite the domination that was expected from “the Angel with Iron Wings,” as Kudryavsteva has been nicknamed. After an excellent start with the Clubs, where she scored 19.000 points, the Muscovite made a slight error with the Ribbon, allowing her best friend and biggest rival, Margarita Mamun (RUS) to move into the lead by 0.2 points with one routine left to perform.
With gold in her grasp, Mamun dropped the Ribbon early in her last routine, scoring an uncharacteristically low 18.050 on the event where she was World champion in 2014. Kudryavtseva took full advantage of the opportunity, posting the highest score of the competition (19.116) with the Ball to bounce back for the gold, her third consecutive World title (75.632).
As she typically has for the past two years in international competition, Mamun settled for silver (74.766). Veteran Melitina Stanioiuta (BLR), already a bronze medallist with the Ball in Stuttgart, allowed the apparatus to slip out of her hands early Friday night but recovered well enough to finish with a second bronze in the All-around (72.132).
The usually collected Kudryavtseva pumped her fists and bowed to the crowd following her routine, knowing she had secured the title. Kudryavtseva has been nursing a slight leg injury in Stuttgart and opted not to compete for the World title with the Hoop, which in her absence was won by Mamun.
On a night where Olympic qualification berths were at stake, few among the 24 All-around finalists managed four clean routines. Reigning World bronze medallist Ganna Rizatdinovawatched her chances of a fifth medal at this Championships vanish after she failed to catch her Clubs out of bounds at the end of her first routine of the night. Son Yeon Jae (KOR), another pre-competition favorite, made several errors during her Ribbon routine and finished 11th overall. —- FIG
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