Dina Averina shines in dominant warm-up for Rhythmic Worlds

Photo : www.gymnastics.sport
www.gymnastics.sport|19-Aug-2019 19:02

With four golds at this weekend’s World Challenge Cup in Minsk, Dina Averina underlined she will be the gymnast to beat at September’s FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships.

Dina Averina warmed up for her bid for a third successive World Championship All-around gold medal with a dominant performance at the World Challenge Cup in Minsk.

The Russian won four gold medals – including in the All-around competition – and there was also strong showings from her twin sister Arina, winner of four silver medals, and from Israel’s Linoy Ashram, whose four medals included a gold.

The year’s second World Challenge Cup event took place at the Falcon Club in the Belarusian capital from 16-18 August – exactly one month before the sport’s elite convene in Baku, Azerbaijan for the 37th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships starting on 16 September.

Dina Averina had taken All-around gold on her last visit to Minsk for the European Games in June and the 21-year-old repeated the feat with a total score of 93.450, after coming out on top with the Clubs and Ribbon. Her sister Arina finished second – some distance behind with 91.950, despite prevailing with the Hoop and Ball – while Ashram took the bronze medal.

Dina’s other three golds came in the Ball, Ribbon and Clubs finals. A high execution score (9.100) earned her gold with the Ball ahead of Arina and Ashram, and her identical execution score also kept her ahead of Ashram in a closely contested Clubs final which the Russian won by 0.100, with her sister completing the podium. The Ribbon final, meanwhile, produced a Dina-Arina one-two with Italy’s Milena Baldarassi, the silver medallist at last year’s Worlds, claiming the bronze medal.

On top of her three bronze medals, Ashram was able to celebrate winning gold with the Hoop as she edged past Arina Averina by 0.500 after scoring high (5.500) for body difficulty in her routine. So dominant elsewhere, Dina Averina had to make do with the bronze medal.

It was the Hoop and Ball finals, meanwhile, which saw the best of Belarus’s Katsiaryna Halkina, the home gymnast who came closest to the podium by taking fifth place in those two events.

Alongside the Averinas’ supremacy in the individual competition, there was also a gold medal for Russia in the Group All-around. The Russian group’s total score of 59.050 followed wins in both the 5 Ball and 3 Hoops/2 Clubs events in qualifying, while Bulgaria took silver and Belarus bronze.

Bulgaria underlined that they will be another of the teams to watch at the World Championships next month as they then won the 3 Hoops/2 Clubs final, edging aside the home team, Belarus, by just 0.150 points with the help of a high execution score (8.600). For Bulgaria, this was a repeat of their gold in Guadalajara in the year’s opening World Challenge Cup event in May. With Russia slumping to eighth place, Ukraine profited with the bronze medal.

Finally, Italy made amends for their fifth-place finish in the All-around with victory in the 5 Balls final with a routine with strong difficulty elements. Russia and Bulgaria finished tied on 29.450 points in the fight for silver, with the Russians prevailing thanks to their higher execution score (just 0.100 superior).