Grand Prix Marbella 2021 already confirms participants

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.

Viktoriia Onoprienko (UKR) Grand Prix Marbella 2019

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, Anastasia Simakova and Ekaterina Selezneva The next confirmation will be from Belarus, who already won the 3rd position in Olympic Games with Alina Harnasko. Anastasia Salos and Arena Krasnorutskaya is the gymnast that will represent BLR in this tournament.

Lala Kramarenko (RUS), winner of Andalucia Cup 2019
Dina Averina (RUS) Grand Prix Marbella 2019
Anastasiia Salos Grand Prix Marbella 2019

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:

Alina Harnasko (BLR)
Anastasiia Guzenkova (RUS)
Polina Berezina (ESP)
Arina Averina (RUS)
Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS)
Vlada Nikolchenko
Aleksandra Soldatova (RUS)
Katsiaryna Halkina (BLR)
Neviana Vladinova (BUL)

FIG confirms that the scores at Olympic Games in Tokyo were fair

Dina Averina (RUS)



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.

Linoy Ashram (ISR)


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.

Alina Harnasko (BLR), 3rd in Tokyo 2020

Alina Kabaeva talks about the results of Tokyo 2020

Alina Kabaeva, World Championships Stuttgart 2015


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 Kabaeva

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.

Alina Kabaeva, Granada European Championships 2002

Source: Exclusive Interview to Alina Kabaeva by “Russia 1”

Natalia Garcia opens up about her gymnastics career

Natalia Garcia (ESP)

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 by rathen 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.”

Source: Podcast on Spotify “La Zancada”

Linoy Ashram becomes Olympic Champion in Tokyo 2021

Linoy Ashram (ISR)

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.

Rhythmic Gymnastics Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

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)

Linoy Ashram (ISR)

“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)
Alina Harnasko (BLR)

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)
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.

Bulgarian Senior Group

GOLD: Bulgaria

SILVER: ROC (Russia)

BRONZE: Italy

With Anastasiia Bliznyuk, Olympians Anastasiia Tatareva and Anastasiia Maksimenko from Russia, earned their second medal.

Anastasiia Bliznyuk

Ukraine’s Vlada Nikolchenko is ready to compete at European Champions

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:

Junior group: Elizaveta Nabivach, Valeriya Panchenko, Snezhana Oschipko, Alina Pertseva, Karina Sydorak.

Karina Sydorak, who represented Ukraine as an individual junior gymnast at 2020 European Championships is now in the junior group

Individual Senior Gymnasts are:

Khrystina Pohranychna, Viktoriia Onopriienko and Vlada Nikolchenko

Senior Group are:

Yeva Meleshchuk, Anastasiia Voznyak, Daryna Duda, Diana Baeva, Alina Mel’nik and Maryola Bodnarchuk.

Yeva Meleshchuk is now representing Ukraine in the group category

List of Individual Gymnasts qualified for Tokyo Olympic Games

Sabina Tashkenbaeva (UZB)

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. Japan, has got also a non-nominative spot.

There is still place for an European, Asian, Oceanian and American gymnasts, which are yet to decide. Africa already confirmed the gymnast qualified via African Championships, Habiba Marzouk from Egypt. The Olympic Committe already released that Marcia Alves Lopes from Cape Verde should go to Olympic Games.

Salome Pazhava (GEO)

The countries that already qualified for the Olympics Games, regarding Individual Senior Gymnasts are:

  • Russia with two spots. They will compete as “Russian Olympic Committee”.
  • Israel with two spots.
  • Bulgaria with two spots.
  • Ukraine with two spots.
  • Italy with two spots.
  • United Stated with two spots.
  • Belarys with two spots.
  • Azerbaijan one spot.
  • Japan with two spots.
  • Ekaterina Vedeeneva from Serbia.
  • Sabina Tashkenbaeva from Uzbekistan.
  • Habiba Marzouk from Egypt.

At the moment, only six places are open:

  • One from Europe
  • One from Oceania
  • One from Asia
  • One from America
  • Reallocated spot from host country.
  • Tripartite invitation place

The spot from the host country at the moment goes from Salome Pazhava (GEO) and, the one from Tripartire invitation rolls to Marcia Alves Lopes from Cape Verde.

Kaho Minagawa (JPN)

National Team of Russia 2021

The list of members of the Russian national rhythmic gymnastics team for 2021 is already published.


Senior Individual Team
  • Arina Averina
  • Dina Averina
  • Ekaterina Selezneva
  • Anastasiya Guzenkova
  • Lala Kramarenko
  • Mariya Pobedushkina
  • Dariia Trubnikova
  • Anastasiia Simakova
Arina Averina
Dina Averina
Ekaterina Selezneva
Daria Trubnikova
Anastasiia Guzenkova
Lala Kramarenko
Senior Individual Team: Reserve
  • Polina Orlova
  • Irina Annenkova
  • Anna Strashko
  • Dariia Pridannikova
  • Irina Annenkova
  • Maria Sergeeva
  • Dariia Sergeeva
  • Anna Sokolova
  • Kristyna Telyatnikova

Irina Annenkova
Mariia Sergeeva
Senior Group 
  • Anna Batasova
  • Anastasiia Maksimova
  • Evgeniya Levanova
  • Anastasiia Bliznyuk
  • Dana Semirenko
  • Aleksandra Semibratova
  • Alisa Tishchenko
  • Angelina Shkatova
  • Mariia Tolkacheva
  • Amina Haldarova
  • Anzhelika Stubaylo
  • Anastasiia Shishmakova
Anastasiia Bliznyuk
Junior Individual Team
  • Olga Karaseva
  • Sofiia Agafonova
  • Sofiia Nikeeva
  • Vladislava Nikolaenko
  • Diana Simoshina
  • Ekaterina Panteleeva
  • Anastasiia Sergeva
  • Aleksandra Skubova
  • Amina Spineva
  • Anastasiia Tatareva
  • Anna Popova
Diana Simoshina
Sofiia Agafonova
Junior Groups

  • Anna Grosh
  • Evgeniya Azeva
  • Dariia Kazakova
  • Olga Izotova
  • Sofiia Yakovleva
  • Vitaliya Yushkova
  • Alina Rusanova
  • Sofiia Sharypina
  • Elizaveta Tatareva
  • Kseniya Rodykina
  • Nonna Nyanina

Results and Irina Viner’s impressions of 3rd International Online Tournament 2020

Arina Averina (RUS)

The third international tournament ended with the triumph of Russian Team. It was a great option to all teams that do not want to risk the health of their children and their coaches, but still want to compete. Each new edition there are more and more participating countries, both in number and in composition. One of the strongest gymnast from Bulgaria, Katrin Taseva, took part in this tournament and took third place in the all-around competition. Ekaterina Selezneva is increasing her physical shape since she was ill and still recovering. Daria Trubnikova and Diana Simoshina are in the same situation, that’s why they didn’t compete in the 3rd International Online Tournament. On the other hand, Sofia Agafonova, was diagnosed with a stress fracture.

Daria Trubnikova (RUS)

Sofia could, of course, perform on painkillers, but we did not risk it, because the girl is still a junior.  Therefore, we decided not to risk her health. “

Irina Viner Usmanova said

Anastasiya Guzenkova tested positive in COVID and she spent 14 days in isolation. She was tested three times, hoping the first one was false positive. So it was with Simakova. But every time she had a positive result. Although outwardly she was absolutely healthy. Therefore, I just sat at home in quarantine, now everything is fine. 

Unfortunately, Covid indirectly greatly influenced, of course. We have never had so many injuries.

Explained by Irina Viner Usmanova
Anastasiya Guzenkova

What is your opinion about the Senior Russian Team?

This is an established team, they are a mountain for each other, they understand each other perfectly, they are very motivated, they are very good children. But, unfortunately, their program leaves much to be desired in terms of difficulty. However, they are ready. Some have been ill with covid, some were injured, because they still have an adult program. We made it easier precisely so that they could do it in the composition in which they are now. They performed pretty well. But yesterday, by the way, their coaches wrote to me that they would not be responsible for their performance. Because their training was not compatible, first of all, with injuries. I made a decision that they will still perform, because they have been preparing so much … Otherwise, it would not be right. And it could hit their nerves so that they would take a very long time to recover. We talked and decided that they would perform. 

What is your opinion about the Italian and Bulgarian Team?

Italians, like us and refused to participate in the European Championship. The Bulgarians did not go with the group exercise either. A girl in Bulgaria immediately after Kiev fell ill, the judges fell ill, other children in different countries fell ill. I refused in July, I understood everything.  They gathered everyone and even asked if they could take gymnasts from one team and move them to another team. Everything is possibe!

Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS)

An International Tournament, “Moscow Cup” will be held on December 17th. Some gymnasts will perform once again except for Arina and Dina. And the group will also perform. In February, if everything goes well, the Grand Prix of Moscow will be online.

Full Results of 3rd International Online Tournament