Marbella is one of the stages for Grand Prix Series that include other cities as Kiev, Holon, Tartu, Brno, Thiais and Moscow. Last year this Grand Prix was cancelled due to COVID-19 health problem.
This week Andalusian Gymnastics Federation already confirmed that Grand Prix Marbella 2021 will take part in San Pedro de Alcantara on the 17th and 18th of October.
This could be one of the biggest competitions of 2021 in Spain. The tournament consists in 2-competitions-in-one: Grand Prix Senior and International Junior competition, which is called “Andalucia Cup”
Russian delegation already confirmed their participants: Lala Kramarenko, Arina Averina and Dina Averina. The next confirmation will be from Belarus, who already won the 3rd position in Olympic Games with Alina Harnasko.
Tickets will be available soon. All official statements will be provided by Andalucian Gymnastics Federation. Marbella celebrates its 6th International Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix.
Some Rhythmic Gymnastics Stars in Marbella Grand Prix last editions:
Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Star, European and World Champion finished second in Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, behind Linoy Ashram. This was the first time in 20 years that Russia didn’t win gold in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Olympic Games, both in individuals and groups.
This results were noticed as a “scandal and corruption” by the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation. On the other hand, International Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation carried out an evaluation of the scoring system in the past Olympic Games. This consisted on a post-review evaluation components in all the phases of Tokyo 2020. The conclusion was the confirmation that no bias or irregularities were identified in the judging panels.
Therefore, FIG published a statement about that the rankings and results of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games competitions in Rhythmic Gymnastics for both Individuals and Groups were fair and impartial.
Many judges received hateful messages through their social media, that were described as “utterly unacceptable” by International Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation.
Olympic Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics (Athens 2004), Alina Kabaeva, gives her view about the podium of Tokyo 2020. Although she has been outside the scope of the press for years, now she reveals her oppinion of the judging system in this competition.
She described the scoring as outrageous since Dina Averina (ROC) didn’t have major errors during her four exercises.
Dina Averina was great. She performed four wonderful exercises without drops. This was not the case of the gymnast from Israel, who had a big mistake with her ribbon routine. This mistake should have cost her 1 point, whilst judges deduced her only 0.7. You can’t win Olympic Games with such a big mistake.
Alina also blames the judges for making Dina wait for her last score. They took six minutes to give the final score. Concerning Kabaeva’s opinion, in Rhythmic Gymnastics the score should be given in less than two minutes if you execute a clear routine.
Judges calculated the score for Dina. They didn’t want Dina Averina to win. I only have to say that there is honest people and others, that they are not.
The whole situation spawned a big scandal in Russia. Two days ago, the International Gymnastics Federation (F.I.G) issued a press release about the fair scoring system.
Source: Exclusive Interview to Alina Kabaeva by “Russia 1”
Natalia Garcia Timofeeva is a Spanish rhythmic gymnast who was born in Barcelona but her roots are Russian. Natalia Garcia and Polina Berezina were the gymnasts selected by Spanish National Federation to represent Spain in the World Cup Series. They mission was get a spot for Olympic Games in Tokyo, which was not possible.
Both Polina and Natalia declared that they were in the last months training non-stop. This season was really hard.
“I think I would not repeat this in my whole life. It was really hard for me. I don’t wish this to anyone. You can’t image how difficult this path to Olympics was. I tried to be on my best physical condition for European Championships. The day after the EC, I couldn’t even move, I was in too much pain.In my case, I needed to show that I was on top, many gymnasts were fighting to represent Spain in the international competitions.”
Natalia suffered from a few injuries during her gymnastics career. For the last years, she needed to adapt her trainings and warm-ups and decrease the level of her daily trainings. She underwent twice surgery (double hip) in 2017. After this, she got injured again.
“I felt really alone. In the past, I had a team working for me and now, I don’t. My whole team suddenly changed. That’s why I use social media to promote and publish brands, because of money. I lived alone in Barcelona, my family lives in French Guyana, really far from me. My parents could not help me so I have learned to get byrathen than how to work, simply making a living.“
I describe myself as a fighter.
“It is really easy to give opinions of an athlete, but the only ones that know the truth are family, coaches and team. People on social media was quite mean to me. Instagram is not my real life, it is just a tool to publish the best of yourself and what you really want to show of your privacy. I just use this app to get money”
Natalia spent last year some months in Russia for improve their exercises. My mother and grandmother were successful sportswomen in Russia and helped me to train with great coaches from this country. We were working from them since 2018. They are Ekaterina Pankova and Ekaterina Dementyeva.
Ekaterina Pankova was focused on her daily work and Dementyeva on her artistic exercises and choreographies. Monica Viñals, who was also her first coach, is now working with Natalia.
Natalia also designs her own leotards.
“I am inspired of high couture designs or even dresses that I see on the red carpet. Then, I speak with the people that is going to sew it and my coaches, who advise me.”
Natalia Garcia wants to retire this year and wants to finish her gymnastics career in Spain.
“I feel really tired and I think my body needs to stop doing rhythmic gymnastics. Anyway I plan to do masterclasses and I have many projects related to rhythmic gymnastics.”
Israel’s top rhythmic gymnast made history for her country becoming the first Olympic Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics. She is also the first sportswoman that has won a medal in Olympic Games for Israel.
Linoy Ashram told to the press in Tokyo that she worked a lot with her coach for becoming a champion. She couldn’t be happier for this gold medal.
“I was just focused on a good execution of my routines. I tried to do my best. I was not thinking about the scores, positions or even medals. I wanted to show all of my work”.
Linoy had a mistake during her last routine (ribbon). This drop gave a chance to other gymnast, like Dina Averina, to win the Olympic gold medal. This fact, built a big controversy around the scores and the judgement during the Olympic final. Russian press also have labeled the judgement as unfair.
“I had a mistake with ribbon. I think it was because I knew this was my last routine and I was nervous. After this routine, I started crying with my coach. We were really happy, since we knew I would have a medal. My coach was really proud of me. This moment was so emotional”
Ashram didn’t confirm to the press if she will continue her sports career. She will take a break for holidays and then, think about the future.
Dina and Arina Averina were the top favorites for becoming Olympic Champions in Tokyo 2020. However, Linoy Ashram from Israel made history winning the first gold medal for this country in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
What do fans mean to you?
When we came back from Japan, a lot of fans were cheering us up in the airport. They are an important support, they write message to us after competitions, even poems. – Dina Averina said
Do you want to continue to Paris (Olympic Games) 2024?
First of all we need to rest, but who knows, we need a “revenge”. – Arina Averina said
Dina, how do you feel towards your results in Tokyo?
I feel sad, I wanted to become Olympic Champion. Linoy Ashram had a mistake with ribbon and I felt that I had an opportunity for gold. For the first moment, I think the judges were giving me low scores. My ribbon routine was clear and unfortunately it was not possible to win.
Dina, do you think that the gold medal should have been yours?
I think that my four exercises were without big mistakes. My consciencie is clear, I should have been the winner. After the last performance, the judges took more than usual to give my score. I understood that they didn’t want me to win this competition.
What were your words in the kiss and cry?
Dina asked to me if they were going to give me the gold. I just said “no”. – Arina Averina said
Do you have any injuries?
In 2020 I had a serious spine injury. I talked to my doctors and they said to continue for a few months. Anyway the solution was about surgery and I flatly said no. I didn’t want to miss the Olympic Games. This injury is very painful, even when I walk. When I start to warm up I feel pins and needles. – Dina said
Do you think about retirement?
If both of us had won Olympic Medals, 100% we would have retired. Maybe we would continue until World Championships (October 2021). Arina doesn’t want to continue and I have a serious injury in my back. We still need to think about it.
Do you think that other gymnasts are happy of these results?
We felt that judges were against us. They are tired of our victories. We have a cordial relationship with other gymnasts, but we felt that some of them were happy about this result.
Dina, do you think that the scores were fair?
I feel hurt, the scores were really low for both of us. The gold was for a gymnast who made a mistake with ribbon (drop). This was not fair at all. I just could not understand the scores. This time, I wasn’t paying attention to the total scores. Irina Viner Usmanova (head coach) said to me just before the last exercises: “Dina you have to fight until the end, you have still chances to win. Show how the real rhythmic gymnastics is.”
“Unfortunately, the miracle has not happened”
You were training for five years looking forward Olympic Medals. What are you going to do in the future, after these results?
We are not going to make a hasty decision. We need to think about our future. When you are dissapointed, you should not think about the future. We should wait and then, think about the future.
Summer Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were full of surprises. The top favorites for winning a medal were Dina and Arina Averina (RUS) and Linoy Ashram from Israel. Ashram could have never managed to win a major All-Around against the Russian twins, who seemed to be unbeatable. In spite of being third at the all-around qualification, Linoy beat Dina Averina in her last performance. Dina could not reach the score of 24.151 needed for gold medal.
GOLD: Linoy Ashram (ISR)
SILVER: Dina Averina (RUS)
BRONZE: Alina Harnasko (BLR)
“I just said to myself, ‘it’s a new day. What happened yesterday happened, just go to the carpet and do your best. I tried not to think about anything. I knew I could win a medal but I didn’t know which colour. Now it’s gold.”
Linoy Ashram (ISR)
The bronze medal went for Alina Harnasko (BLR).
“Overall, I’m happy about my performance, the last two days were very difficult for me […] and the finals were very emotional.”
These results generate a big discussion in Rhythmic Gymnastics social media, since some followers think that Dina Averina should have won the gold medal.
“I wasn’t expecting gold, but I was working hard. I knew I had a chance. I knew that if I did my Ribbon routine without any mistakes, I would be able to get a high score. But it didn’t happen.”
Dina Averina (RUS)
On the other hand, Bulgaria its first Olympic Gold Medal in Rhythmic Gymnastics. Since 2000, Russia were the reigning champions in groups. This is Bulgaria’s fourth Olympic Group medal in Rhythmic Gymnastics, (they won silver in 1996 and bronzes in 2004 and 2016). Only Russia and Spain are the only nations to have won gold in Group.
Russian gymnast, Anastasiia Bliznyuk made history, becoming the most decorated Rhythmic athlete. This is her third Olympic medal after Group golds in 2012 and 2016, and silver in Tokyo 2020.
SILVER: ROC (Russia)
With Anastasiia Bliznyuk, Olympians Anastasiia Tatareva and Anastasiia Maksimenko from Russia, earned their second medal.
There is still a chance for European Gymnasts to get a spot for Olympic Games in Rio 2021. This place will be appointed by the qualification of the European Championships that are going to take place in Varna this week. Some of the gymnasts that are looking forward Tokyo are: Polina Berezina (ESP), Fanni Pignczki (HUN), Natalia Garcia (ESP), Salome Pazhava (GEO), Kamelya Tuncel (TUR), Andreea Verdes (ROU), Jelizaveta Polstjanaja (LAT), Salome Pazhava (GEO) and Eleni Kelaiditi (GRE).
The International Gymnastics Federation confirmed after the conclusion of World Cup Series the participants for Olympic Games. Ekaterina Vedeneeva (Serbia) and Sabina Tashkenbaeva (Uzbekistan) are qualified via the World Cup Series. Their spot is a nominative quota.
Best scores (World Cup Series)
In All-Around, Fanni Pignczki from Hungary lead the list of these gymnasts with a total score of 87,100 in World Cup Sofia and with 90,000 points at World Cup Tashkent. Andreea Verdes got a total score of 90,775 at World Cup Baku and Eleni Kelaiditi from Greece, has got the top score among this group with a score of 90,050 at World Cup Pesaro.
The best score went for Eleni Kelaiditi from Greece with clubs routine with 25,100 points.
The best score in hoop went for Eleni Kelaiditi, who reached this points at World Cup Pesaro.
The top score in ball routine was for Fanni Pignczki with 23,750 points at World Cup Tashkent.
The best score in ribbon routine was for Andreea Verdes (ROU) with 21,150
One of the top gymnasts from Ukraine in the last years, Vlada Nikolchenko, is back after suffering from health problems. The decision was determined last weekend by Irina Deriugina after the control training of the Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnastics Team.
Vlada was recovering from COVID-19 consequences that made the gymnast stop training for a few weeks. It was quite clear that Khrystina Pohranychna and Viktoriia Onopriienko were the ones selected for representing Ukraine at Europeans, but it was a last time minute decision including Vlada in this competition.
Vlada Nikolchenko (UKR)
Team Ukraine for European Championships 2021 in Varna, Bulgaria are: